FREMONT, Neb. One in seven. That's how many mothers nationwide - experience postpartum depression. In this month's Health Check report - Serese Cole tells us - why doctors at Fremont Health are now changing the way they screen for it.
It's supposed to be one of the happiest times in your life.
"You have the nursery perfect, you have everything set up," recalled Carrie Gall.
But despite her preparation and anticipation - that's not how Carrie Gall felt after she had little Adelynn.
"This is my fourth child. I should know the ropes a little bit better - I should be a little more at ease," Gall said. "Why can I not think, why can I not get through the day without crying, why am I yelling?"
Carrie suffers from Postpartum Depression.
"Hormones are changing, you don't sleep when you have a brand new baby and if you have a little one at home - you have the internal pressure to keep everything together, " said Dr. Karen Lauer-Silva.
Fremont Health, Dr. Lauer-Silva says those feelings are known as "baby blues" are normal - for about a week or two.
"But postpartum depression continues longer than that. Becomes more debilitating, causes greater affect in daily life and interactions with family and friends and with baby," added Lauer-Silva.
Doctors are now sign many women showing signs of depression during pregnancy.
So at Fremont Health -
"We've done a lot of changes," said Dr. Lauer-Silva.
One of the big changes - every expectant mom at
Fremont Health is now screened for depression. They're asked a number of questions - that range from "I have been able to laugh and see the sunny side of things" to "I've been so unhappy that I have been crying." How mom answers reveals if she's at risk," said Serese Cole.
"And then followup. Followup with phone calls. . Follow up when the baby comes," said Dr. Lauer-Silva
The goal is to get moms the treatment they need to before a crisis.
"Ultimately, left untreated depression is a fatal illness. People commit suicide or are a danger to their children or a danger to their family. That's the most extreme case but it's a reality," said Dr. Lauer-Silva.
Carrie got help. Thanks to a strong support system, there are now more happy days than sad.
Here are the warning signs of postpartum depression:
•Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
•Crying more often than usual
•Worrying or feeling overly anxious
•Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
•Oversleeping or being unable to sleep when your baby is asleep
•Having trouble concentrating and making decisions
•Frequent feelings of anger or rage
Some mothers are at a greater risk for postpartum depression.
Women who have had a recent change in life - like a big move, job change or death of a parent or spouse a year before pregnancy are more at risk. Women who have previously struggled with depression also also more at risk.