New ACOG President focuses on Postpartum Depression as Priority

According to a recent ACOG press release, yesterday, Dr. Gerald F. Joseph, Jr., became the 60th President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

During his inauguration speech, Dr. Joseph declared Postpartum Depression to be the theme of his presidential initiative.

Just in case you can’t see me, I’m doing a major happy dance right now. Jumping for joy! Screaming from the mountain tops!

“While in an ideal world, the newly delivered mother is at the peak of her reproductive health, with a beautiful child and, ideally, a supportive, loving family, this unfortunately is not always the case,” said Dr. Joseph. “Studies show that this is a most vulnerable time for our patients, especially those prone to depression or those with a history of depression.”

Dr. Joseph also went on to state the following:

“First, we need to determine the true prevalence and incidence of postpartum depression,” he said. Because definitions of depression vary among different studies, postpartum depression is estimated to range anywhere from five percent to more than 25 percent, depending on these changing definitions and the diversity of populations studied. “Second, the available screening tools to assess potentially at-risk pregnant women often are imprecise and leave much to be desired. And, finally, we need to develop evidence-based guidelines for ACOG members to screen for postpartum depression.”

“We also need to know how ACOG Fellows screen and identify patients suffering from postpartum depression,” Dr. Joseph continued. “When do they counsel? How do they treat? Do they refer to other specialists for treatment? What kind of local programs are available for education and support? These are all questions that we need answers to.”

AMEN, Dr. Joseph! AMEN!

Congratulations on your Presidency. I am excited about the prospect of your work!

I sincerely hope this will encourage more OB’s to acknowledge that yes, mothers do struggle, that they do face a difficult decision when coming forward to admit their negative thoughts and feelings when they should be happy. As a woman who was dismissed by her OB the first time around and faced monumental consequences as a result after the birth of my second child, I applaud this stand. I see this as a huge step in preventing what happened to me happening to another woman! Thank you, Dr. Joseph.

Click here for the full press release.


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