Step 17: Mental Health

Step 17: Mental Health

New mothers who have experienced some form of trauma  or loss  in their births, are often consumed with emotions during the postpartum period.  As a postpartum doula, you are in a position to help her sort out what happened and offer positive support.

As postpartum doulas, it is important that we understand postpartum mood disorders while also understanding our scope of practice. We are not to diagnose, treat or prescribe anything. Understanding of these disorders helps us to educate families to look for red flags to report to their providers and helps us in supporting them as they seek professional treatment.

Please note that this step has two related topics 17 a and 17 b at the bottom of this page, both with their own Applicaiton & Understanding questions.

Click below for text article.

Mental Health

Application and Understanding

  1. How would you support Amanda and her family in the above scenario? Write a paragraph of your dialogue with her.
  2.  List two ways you can support a mother experiencing a postpartum mood disorder.
  3. If a mother asks you what is the best medication for treating postpartum depression how would you respond?
  4. You are with a new mother who is distressed that she doesn’t feel herself bonding with her new baby.  She says, “Maybe it’s because she was in the NICU for three days before I could hold her!”   How would you respond?
  5. What are three concerns a new mother might have in the first days at home with her preemie baby?
  6. What do you believe is the cause of baby blues?

     (500 -600 words)

African American mother with sad expression holding newborn

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Cristin Tighe
Executive Director & International Coordinator
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