An Exercise Program Selling Point: Not losing baby weight leads to Postpartum Depression


I happened across a website for a Mom and Baby fitness routine yesterday. As I scrolled down the page, I got angry. And then I got pissed off.

Here’s one of their selling points from about 2/3 of the way down the page:

If you need help getting back in shape after baby, if you have postpartum depresssion, if you need creative ways to bond with baby, if you need to lose the baby weight —

Okay, so yes, exercise helps with Postpartum Depression. In fact, some studies have proven that exercise has an almost anti-depressant effect.

But do you need THEIR product to achieve that effect? No. All you need is yourself, some clothes, decent shoes, and somewhere to walk or run. Bam.

What got me really pissed off was the sidebar section. I took a screen-shot of the most offensive section to share with you. I have blacked out the company’s name as I sure as hell am not advertising for them. You also will not find a link to them here either.

Clearly, these folks know something about Postpartum Mood Disorders I have never heard:

“Gaining pregnancy weight and struggling to get back in shape after birth can lead to post pardum depression and difficulties bonding with baby.”

First of all, you are SUPPOSED to gain weight during pregnancy. Here’s a breakdown of weight gain expectations as found at the March of Dimes website:

If you began pregnancy at a healthy weight
You should gain 25–35 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, you should put on about one pound every week in the second and third trimesters

If you began pregnancy underweight
You should probably gain a little more than women who are at a healthy weight. That’s because underweight women are more likely to have small babies. A 28- to 40-pound gain is usually best. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, try to gain slightly over a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.

If you began pregnancy overweight
You should gain only 15–25 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, you should put on slightly over ½ pound every week in the second and third trimesters. While you don’t want to gain too much weight, you should never try to lose weight during pregnancy because that could harm your baby.

If you were obese at the start of your pregnancy
You should gain only 11–20 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, aim for gaining slightly under ½ pound every week in the second and third trimesters.

If you’re expecting twins
You should probably gain between 37-54 pounds over the nine months if you began pregnancy at a healthy weight. If you began pregnancy overweight, aim for gaining a total of 31-50 pounds. If you were obese at the start of your pregnancy, you should gain between 25-42 pounds over the nine months. (That means gaining about 1 ½ pounds a week in the last two trimesters.

Another important thing to note here is that if you have a history of eating disorders, you are at a higher risk for developing a Postpartum Mood Disorder.

It’s also important to know that Thyroid issues may also be at the heart of abnormal weight loss or weight gain.

That population is exactly who this spam page is targeting. Get thin. Be happy. Avoid Postpartum Depression. Stay perfect.

Want to know something interesting?

This company has a spammy blog to go along with their website. Postpartum Depression is nowhere to be found when a quick search was done for the term at their blog.

For this company, Postpartum Depression is merely an SEO term they tossed onto their page in order to garner more hits and target an entire at-risk population.

Companies like this make me absolutely sick.

They pray on women who are at their most vulnerable. Granted, this particular company’s product is not insanely priced, but price is not the issue here. The issue is that they are insinuating that their product, not exercise in general, will help you fight off depression. You NEED their product to avoid Postpartum Depression and bond with your baby. Truth be told? You don’t.

Here are the things you may need to battle Postpartum Depression:

  • Professional support
  • Personal/peer support
  • Family support
  • Exercise (any kind will do)
  • Therapy/medication/supplements – IF prescribed and or/approved by your Professional support

Things you do NOT need to battle Postpartum Depression:

  • Products which promise to cure or ward off Postpartum Depression
  • Negative People/Support
  • Sparkly Unicorns (although they are awesome)
  • Leprachauns
  • Wizards
  • The Trix Bunny

Depression happens. There’s a right way to go about getting help and a wrong way. Ending up on a page like the one I have just blogged abut is the wrong way. Unfortunately, many, many people prey on at-risk populations so that they will spend money they don’t have on products they do not need. So how do you tell the difference between a good, solid, and helpful website vs. a bad, for profit, grubby website? Educate yourself starting with these two posts:

The reprehensible spammification of PPD

Tips on Identifying Reliable Health Information on the Internet

Then make sure to involve a medical professional in your Postpartum Mood Disorder care to help keep you safe and well as you travel toward recovery.

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On the Eleventh Day of Christmas: Eleven Instant Cures


On the eleventh day of Dismismas,

Postpartum sent to me

Eleven instant cures,

Ten women drifting,

Nine ladies grinning,

Eight maids no longer nursing,

Seven sins a-lurking,

Six women a-denying,

Five hours of sleep,

Four Just Snap out of Its,

Three perfect babies,

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

Over the course of the past year, several websites have cropped up much to the dismay of those of us who advocate for and with women struggling from Postpartum Mood Disorders. These websites claim the ability to cure Postpartum Depression for a low price. 50% off if you sign up as a friend.

Ahem.

Postpartum Mood Disorders are not something you are able to instantly cure.

It takes time.

For some, it may take Therapy, medication (natural or pharmaceutical), exercise, or other various approaches.

Rest assured though, reading an E-book will not make your depression dissipate overnight.

As always, be wary of any medication or supplement promising to easy your Postpartum Depression instantly as well. Always ALWAYS ALWAYS discuss any new approach with a doctor. Especially if you are already taking a medication or on a prescribed routine for therapy.

You can read more in depth of my feelings in regards to Instant Cures here.

Need tips on how to distinguish good information from bad information on the web? I’ve got that for you too.

Bottom line here?

If it sounds too good to be true? It probably is. Walk away. Quickly.

The reprehensible spammification of Postpartum Mood Disorders


Something is afoot.

Something strange, disturbing, and downright irresponsible.

Sadly, I am not surprised at this recent development given what a hot topic Postpartum Mood Disorders has become of late in relation to recently (passed!) legislation and the courage of more and more mothers speaking out about their own difficult experiences after the birth of a child.

More and more, I have been receiving very odd links in my Google Alerts for several Postpartum Mood Disorder related search terms. These links lead to websites that have absolutely nothing to do with anything maternal, postpartum, baby, family, or any other related topics. And the information included therein is anything but accurate or reliable.

Even worse, I’ve been seeing a lot of new websites crop up with blanket promises of “Curing” postpartum depression for one low price. (One website even includes a friends and family “coupon” which cuts the price in half just for you!)

My stomach has been churning at the very thought of at-risk women and well-meaning family members finding these sites.

Oh yes, ladies and gentleman, I’m talking about the spammification of Postpartum Mood Disorders.

I can tell the difference between a reliable website and an unreliable website.

Women who blog with me, survivors, experts, and others intimately familiar with the topic can tell the difference.

But what about women and families currently being tossed about on the big nasty Postpartum Sea? Can THEY tell the difference or will they fall prey to these deceptive tactics masquerading as effective life preservers in a hopelessly churlish sea?

Spamming is a disgusting and contemptuous act which has been going on for years. Many of our in-boxes sit full of spam. Some of it makes it through from the spam folder into our in-box making it seem even more reliable. And if one of these links were to make it into the in-box of an at-risk woman or a well-meaning but uninformed family member of a woman struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder, the results may prove ghastly.

So what are we to do?

How do we get educated and knowledgeable when it comes to dissecting the authority and reliability of a website?

There are a few steps you can take.

First, is the site’s URL address directly related to the topic you’ve researched?

Chances are that if you’ve researched Postpartum Mood Disorders or Depression and end up on a website for air conditioners, furniture, auto repair, or turf builder, you’re not at a reputable website.

Second, let’s say that the website you’re at DOES correlate to the topic you’ve researched and the word postpartum is in the URL address. That’s gotta be good, right? Well, yes, and no.

Does this website link to known organizations specializing in helping women with this issue? (Think Postpartum Support International) What’s their google page rank? Are they HON Code certified? (Think Postpartum Progress) What’s the story behind the person who put the website together? Are they clear about their training? Do they let you know they’re a Mom/peer supporter, a doctor, provide confirmable evidence of education/degrees/certifications? Can you find anything about them elsewhere? Have other bloggers or websites linked to them and endorsed them or mentioned them? Or are they only published at their specific website and other unreliable websites? (I don’t have a high Google Page Rank or an HONcode certification but I am working to improve my page rank and also toward an HONcode certification as well. I also over-research everything I put up here which is why sometimes I’m a little behind on posting about a hot topic. I’d rather get it right than have it up as soon as it happens)

Third – is the website trying to sell you something? Does the website promise a cure? Are they dismissive of an entire approach to treating Postpartum Mood Disorders?

If the website is really trying to get you to buy something without describing in detail what it is, you need to be wary. There is no one size fits all treatment. There is NO overnight cure for Postpartum Mood Disorders. Just as with all women, all pregnancies, and all deliveries, there are many different types of Postpartum Mood Disorders and they are rooted in different issues dependent on the history of the woman, the type of birth she experienced, her thyroid levels, anemia levels, etc. There are SO many different layers to uncover when it comes to a Postpartum Mood Disorder. It is dangerous to buy into a one size fits all approach. Just as labor is a fluid process subject to change at any moment given any circumstances, so is postpartum recovery. We all approach life with our own individualized chemistry and baggage. Matching sets don’t commonly occur out here in the real world.

The practice of Quackery has been around for eons and will unfortunately continue to exist as long as people are willing to grasp at any answers that may save them from their current condition. That being said, there are legitimate complementary treatments and alternative approaches available for treating postpartum mood disorders. Anyone worth their salt in dedication to helping women with Postpartum Mood Disorder will be open to supporting whatever path you choose to take toward wellness regardless of what type of methods you choose. In the same vein, anyone worth their salt will also strongly encourage you to work with medical professionals as you work toward wellness. Anyone worth their salt will also openly share their training, education, and base of knowledge with you as well. There should be no hidden cloak, no Wizard of Oz mumbo jumbo going on during your journey to wellness with a good provider.

Here are a couple additional links that may help you navigate your way through the 102,000 results you’ll get via Google in .20 seconds for Postpartum Mood Disorders:

Tips on Identifying Reliable Health Information on the Internet

Quackwatch.org

What can you do if you fall victim to one of these websites? First, you can file with the FTC. And if you’ve lost money and care to pursue legal action, you are entitled to do so under something called the Lanham Act. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau’s Online department by clicking here. You can also click here for seven tips on how to keep your email address from getting added to the growing number of spam lists out there.

As more and more voices speak up about their experience with Postpartum Depression, more and more Snake Oil salesmen will crop up to take advantage of the growing searches occurring on the Internet for information. It’s sad and blasphemously tragic but such has been the way for ages with many medical conditions.

Bottom line: If in doubt, throw it OUT. That phrase is handy in the restaurant industry and certainly handy here too. If a link promises too much too fast or reeks of a foul distrusting odor, throw it out.

Tread carefully. Think it through. Talk to a professional. Take care of you.

Tomorrow we’ll be sharing tips on how to tell a good doctor/therapist from a bad doctor/therapist.

Have any tips or insights to share on this? Email me at ppdacceptance(@)gmail.com.

Be sure to check back to see if your tips/experiences were included!