Monthly Archives: March 2012

Newsflash: Postpartum Depression & Domestic Violence – New study results

In a new study appearing in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers discovered a tie between Postpartum Depression and domestic violence. The study, Postpartum Depression and Intimate Partner Violence in Urban Mothers: Co-Occurrence and Child Healthcare Utilization, focused on urban mothers and screened for both Postpartum Depression and domestic violence during pediatric visits for children.

Of those screening positive for Postpartum Depression, 7% also screened positive for “intimate partner violence” according to the researchers. Also according to the study, 60% of those who screened positive for intimate partner violence also screened positive for Postpartum Depression. an interesting side note is that mothers screening positive for Postpartum Depression in this study were more likely to take their children to the Emergency room. Perhaps this is related to the higher level of anxiety and worry we experience during a Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorder.

The most important thing to keep in mind as a result of this study is that the researchers did not definitively determine cause/correlation between Postpartum Depression and intimate partner violence. When you’re in an abusive relationship, it can be difficult to leave for many reasons. It may cause depression or you may “allow” the abuse for longer if you are already depressed. It’s a very fine and exhausting line on which to find yourself teetering.

There is always help and hope available though.

For those with Postpartum Depression, visit Postpartum Support International’s website to find a coordinator near you.Or call the warmline at 1-800-944-4PPD.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, you can find help throughout the United States through The Hotline.

You’re not alone, there is help, and there is hope.

Postpartum Voice of the Week: Bravado Designs

Tuesday morning began like any other. Until I saw a tweet from @phdinparenting referencing an earlier tweet by @postpartumprogr, Katherine Stone. This tweet questioned the title of a giveaway post at BabyCenter involving Bravado Designs products. At the time, the title of the post was “Can Color Cure PPD?”

I discussed it briefly on Twitter then decided to do some research into the legitimacy of colour and PPD. I’m always wary when someone, anyone, claims to be able to “cure” PPD. It turns out Chromotherapy does indeed exist and has a long history. But nothing I found directly linked it to treatment of PPD, let alone a cure.

Having read the post at BabyCenter, I decided to write a reactionary piece here at my blog. There was a growing concern within the #ppdchat community regarding the approach used by BabyCenter in the giveaway post.

Within minutes of my post appearing, I was in touch with marketing from Bravado. She was concerned about the reaction the piece was receiving and interested in elevating the discussion to educate new moms, something to which Bravado is very dedicated.

By the end of the day, after a few edits, the piece at BabyCenter moved well away from claiming to “cure PPD.” The piece is now titled “Can color help the baby blahs” and an italicized paragraph in the beginning of the post states the following:

Special Note: While color therapy can never cure anything as serious as PPD, which is a very serious condition best left to a doctor’s treatments, there is something to be said of boosting your mood through color therapy. There have been many studies that have shown an improvement of mood due to exposure to certain “happy” colors.

BabyCenter also publicly tweeted an apology regarding the article.

But the real gem in all of this is the apology note at Bravado’s website from their CEO. It’s respectful, engaging, and acknowledges the struggles moms with Postpartum Depression face, stating they should never be taken lightly.

If you’ve not read it, you really should. Go here to do so. 

Thank you, Bravado, for diving in and taking a stand in a situation gone wrong. We, mothers who have fought and are fighting Postpartum Depression, deeply appreciate your willingness to listen and react to our concerns.

Huge thanks too, to all of the #ppdchat community who raised your voices as the awareness of this grew. Many of you were fearless in speaking out against this. Don’t ever stop speaking up. It makes a difference.

Whatever Wednesday: My fabulous new anti-oxidant diet

Pssst. Have you heard? There’s a new diet in town and MAN is it sexay!

One part yellow kernel to one part cocoa bean.

Whooooo-weeeeeeee!

I cain’t wait to get this one going!

"Caramel Popcorn drizzled with chocolate" by EdwardKimkuk @flickr. Original photo sourced here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/woodwood/4835402465/

I’m gonna eat Chocolate Popcorn for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack. I may even adopt the Hobbit habit of Second Breakfast. And Elevensees.

Hell. Tea Time? All over it. Screw cucumber sandwiches. Gimme a giant ball of popcorn slathered in rich dark chocolate please.

Or if I want to be more ladylike, two pieces of popcorn with an M&M smooshed in between them. It’s practically a Ménage à trois of health!

Nom.

I’ll be healthy and svelte in no time, right? Right?

I wonder if I can scrounge up a prescription for Ambien. You know, for mindless trips to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Or wait, is that Lunesta? I can’t remember. I’m too busy day dreaming about a pool full of puffy popcorn coated in a lusty sheen of chocolate. Mmmmmm.

Paula Deen’s got nothing on this new diet. Butter Schmutter, y’all.

Chocolate makes you thinner.

Popcorn is packed with anti-oxidants. Just like chocolate. Which, you know, makes you thinner.

It’s a win-win situation, right?

Especially for Oral-B. Because you know, kernels.

Breaking: Colourful nursing tanks & bras cure PPD!

Here we go again.

Postpartum Depression is a diagnosis. It’s not a marketing tool, people.

My initial response to just reading the tweet? “So we should have been prescribed a colour wheel instead of meds and therapy?” Then I read the actual post at BabyCenter and my hackles raised. Disappointed doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about this.

"Color Wheel" by Nathan Stang Photography Sourced here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanstang42/5446973750/

Chromotherapy is a legitimate form of therapy for many ailments and is used by Naturopaths quite often. But as a cure for PPD? In reference to a spring giveaway by a company manufacturing Nursing under garments? Not okay.

Chromotherapy relies upon the delivery of colour via the light spectrum. Blues and violets are the most commonly used colours for reducing anxiety and inflammatory conditions, according to “Chromotherapy, Let there be Light” by Sussana Czeranko ND BBE at NDRN.com.

Chromotherapy has a place in the therapeutic realm for many. If you’ve had success with it, good for you.

Art therapy is also a popular form of therapy for those struggling with mental illness. It works for many.

Dear marketers, please, do not use the term “cure for PPD” in your materials. It’s highly offensive and ultimately disingenuous to vulnerable mothers and desperate family members truly searching for successful treatment options.

Imagine being presented with an ornately wrapped box. Your fingers deftly remove the gorgeous exterior paper, your expectations growing as you wonder what could be inside such a beautiful package. Once you have the wrapping off and open the lid, there’s nothing but stale air inside.

This?

Is how vulnerable mothers feel after they read your post. Let down, disappointed, upset, and angry.

Postpartum Depression is very real and a rocky road to travel. Please don’t pretend it’s a premium paved interstate requiring us to pay a toll to you to catch a ride to recovery.

**UPDATE**

Speaking out makes a difference. The post’s title has been changed to “Can color help postpartum depression?” and there is mention of color therapy now within the post. It’s a start. Bravado and BabyCenter do want to support women as they go through the motherhood experience and not dismiss any mother’s journey. Don’t ever hesitate to speak up when you see something not quite right. Your voice might just be the one which gets things changed.

A friend of mine shared this blog post on FB. I had no idea there was even an issue with commenting at WP.com blogs. If you have had an issue, please know it’s not because I suddenly changed my policy. I don’t require people to be logged in or registered to comment. The only thing I do is require initial approval of a first comment. I do moderate all comments for inflammatory or incendiary context. But nothing beyond that. As this author points out, there are some ways to properly complain about this particular issue if you’ve experienced them. Please be firm and polite in doing so though. Apologies if you have experienced any difficulty in commenting here at my blog. Hopefully the powers that be at WordPress will get this fixed as soon as possible.

Whatever Wednesday: When you ask Craigslist to solve writer’s block

The next time I struggle with writer’s block, this is the approach I’m taking. Not for serious value but for beyond hilarious comedic value.

So far, responses have ranged from serious to well, not so serious. Generally those who have responded seem to genuinely want to help me. Not all in the way I asked, but still. They want to help. Which is sweet. Sort of. Unless they’re wanting to exchange pictures and be more than friends. Then it’s disturbing because it makes me wonder if they are even capable of reading English. Or thinking of anything north of their equator if you know what I mean.

Pasted below are actual initial responses (in no particular order) to the writer’s block ad I posted. Also, in all fairness, I made it CLEAR I was a blogger in search of a topic. Everything was fair play.

No, I’m not telling you what or where I posted it nor am I linking to it. Enjoy.

Happy Wednesday.

1) seriously, if it is so hard to find something to write about then perhaps you shouldn’t write anything. i blogged for years and have only posted when i felt compelled to write. if you have a deadline then that’s a different issue. it really depends on what you NEED to write. (honestly the most awesome advice of the evening. SO very true.) 

2) Well, what in the world is your blog about?  You didn’t mention any topic!  Politics? Religion? Fitness? Babies? Sex? Speaking of sex, here’s one for you from my personal life (which I probably shouldn’t be sharing):  is it common for married women to stop having sex with their husbands?

 Ok, so I gave you some type of topic to write about. (Yes, yes you have. But whoa. When you email people from Craigslist, you never know where your email will end up. Perhaps you shouldn’t email people on Craigslist to begin with, buddy. Just a thought.)

 

3) I could probably help or at least attempt to depending on the subject matter. I usually have spare ideas I’m not using for anything in particular

and I can be pretty decent when it comes to finding information on Google
but if that’s no help I can still be useful as a repository for obscure trivia.
like did you know attempting to sing “Be Prepared” in the lion king Jeremy Irons “threw out” his voice on the line “You wont get a sniff without me!”
and fellow cast member Jim Cummings had to fill in for him the rest of the song. (this one ended up telling me about a George Washington Shaped Chicken Nugget which sold for 8k on e-bay. When he said repository for obscure trivia? He wasn’t kidding.) 

 

4) So, what do you write about generally? (I’m not even going to bore you with where this went) 

 

5) You know, I was all gung-ho about helping you get to new ideas …

Until you mentioned psychoanalzying The Biebs and getting deep into one of his songs.
Then I realized that you already had enough genius for both of us.
But if you’d like someone to talk to while getting into that adorable boy’s mind, then I’d glady offer my services. As long as you understand why I’d go worked up over it .. I mean, come on … that hair. (this one led to a really awesome full on conversation about the Biebs, Elvis Presley, the Stones, The Beatles, confused HS kids, Shakira, and a whole bunch of other stuff. He’s awesome. Even more awesome than the Bieb’s hair.) 
6) I doubt this will even reach you because I’m sure the second you posted that ad on Craigslist, your email inbox was swarmed by dozens of guys who are a dime a dozen. I’m not one of those guys. I’m 33, HWP, South American and very down to earth. Love to cook, soccer, the outdooors. I am fun, sarcastic, caring, friendly, athletic, well-educated & mannered. I reside in the (redacted)area. Love to try new things, places, food, in this case friendships.If you read this and are interested AND you’re not a spambot, pls reply and we can go from there and exchange pics. (Umm.. okay, but Dude? I was asking for help with writing. In the Strictly Platonic section. I am NOT looking for a sexy latin ma.. oh.. wait.. HI. Just kidding. I deleted his email without responding after I copied the text here.) 

7) maybe you could write about those homeless hotspots put on by sxsw…or even how commercial sxsw has become… (legitimate ideas, granted, and something I’d noticed via Twitter this past week. But not light enough for my Wednesday post. Thanks for playing.) 

8 ) What exactly are you stuck on? (Bubble gum. Super glue. Batman? Harvey Dent….Can we trust him? Wonder-woman? That funny purple blob otherwise known as Barney? Taffy? Toe jam? Rubber Cement? Elmer’s Glue? That strange sticky stuff on the school bus seat?) 

9) Well I;ve got brain tsunamis LOL I am crative, but run into the same problem sometimes. But I like the idea of being helpful. (Oh the cringe-worthiness of this one. Explain to me what “crative” is, please. Anyone? Bueller? Also, I don’t think we’re suffering from the same thing here. I know how to spell and use proper grammar.) 

10) Yes, I would like to help you, do you use yahoo instant messenger or gchat? (maybe. but i’m already writing, also, why does your email address name show up as “tom green” when you’ve signed your name as something completely different? Be funny on your own without invoking the name of someone professionally hilarious.) 

Postpartum Voice of the Week: Afterbirth by @angiekinghorn

Music. The way feelings sound.

The above is a quote featured in a picture I shared at my Facebook account not too long ago. I believe in it, strongly. Music, for me at least, is one of the most powerful ways to enhance or change mood. It’s powerful, all-encompassing. Hidden in the beats, rhythms, and lyrics of certain songs, there are memories. Some blissful, others haunting and terrifying.

I blogged about overcoming the haunting memories which Linkin Park’s album Reanimation held for me. It’s the album I listened to as my then 9 day old daughter had major surgery for the first time in her life. It was while listening to this album I first slid under the waves of the sea of Not Okay and wanted to stay there, drowning in my terror at the hard swirling around me. It took me five years to listen to the album in it’s entirety.

Yesterday I read Afterbirth over at Angie Kinghorn’s blog. In it, she recounts how a specific song, “Lines Upon Your Face” by Vertical Horizon, holds similar memories for her. Angie writes, “I’ve tried playing it in small doses to get used to it, musical allergy shots, if you will, but the violin pulls my heartstrings out and flays them bloody every time.” 

Unlike me, she didn’t play this song purposely, it simply happened to play on her iPod as she sat in the dark in the nursery after a traumatic birth, her father in pain in his illness, and the fear it brought forth within her soul.

With each verse, she swirled deeper into the darkness, just as I did while listening to Linkin Park. The darkness was comforting for me, but for Angie, it broke her wide open, shattering her into pieces, ultimately leading her to the realization she needed help.

I’m listening to the song Angie listened to that night in the dark right now via Grooveshark. I understand how it could break someone apart.

Go read Angie’s post. Show her some love for sharing such a powerful experience with the world. It takes courage to fight your way out of the dark but it takes even more courage to share it as Angie has done at her blog.