Learn More About Postpartum Depression, Maternal Mental Health

May 2, 2024

Postpartum depression is a common disorder experienced by mothers after they’ve given birth. As many as 1 in 7 women may experience this type of depression, according to recent studies.

Rachel Huynh, APRN-CNP at Mercy Fort Smith, works with mothers to help them cope with this disorder.

“My role is to help with the stigma of mental help, especially for new mothers who might be experiencing shame or guilt,” she said. “Postpartum depression does not discriminate; it can affect any age range, young and old.” 

Mercy doctor's coat Rachel Catherine Huynh, APRN-CNP

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:

·       Feelings of sadness and anxiety.

·       Disturbances in sleep and appetite.

·       Feeling disconnected with the baby.

·       Feelings of guilt or hopelessness.

·       Lack of pleasure in life.

While symptoms may appear immediately after childbirth, they can also appear up to two years postpartum, Huynh said. Huynh sees patients by referral at both Mercy Clinic Behavioral Health – Fort Smith and Mercy Clinic OB/GYN.

During appointments, Huynh discusses the patient’s symptoms and goes over treatment options. Those options may include medication or psychotherapy. Many patients often experience mental health issues prior to giving birth, Huynh said.

Huynh encourages new or expectant mothers to reach out to their OB/GYN if they think they could benefit from mental health services.

Hear more from Huynh here.