AURORA, Colo. - Pregnancy can be a challenging time for many women and especially if you have depression, bipolar disorder or struggle with an anxiety or eating disorder during the perinatal period (perinatal meaning the pregnancy period and shortly after the time of birth). Depression can also affect other members of the family as well as the care of the newborn.
The Perinatal Mood Disorder Clinic at the University of Colorado Hospital has been established to help women with these difficulties. The Mood Disorder Clinic serves as an on-site resource for pregnancy and postpartum mood evaluation. Through the collaboration of Elizabeth Brass, MD, OB/Gyn, Erica Schwartz, CNM, DNP(c), director of the nurse midwifery program and Cheryl Chessick MD, a psychiatrist, from the Depression Center the mood disorder clinic has been established. This mixed complement of staffing allows for an integrated approach to diagnoses and treatment. Comprehensive screening for these disorders are conducted and the providers review the risks and benefits of treatment modalities during pregnancy and lactation. An avenue for ongoing community referrals has also been developed.
“This is a clinic that has been needed for a long time and it is becoming valuable to many soon to be moms,” said Erica Schwartz, CNM, DNP(c). “The national prevalence rate for postpartum depression ranges from ten to twenty percent but fewer than half the cases are recognized and women with a history of depression have high rates of relapse especially when their medications are discontinued during their pregnancy. Research shows that most recurrences emerge rapidly, ranging from fifty percent in the first trimester to ninety percent by the end of the second trimester.”
“Many women don’t want to confide in their general practitioners that they are depressed and anxious during this ‘Kodak moment’ time of life, how can I be depressed?” says Cheryl Chessick, MD. “It is also hard to diagnose depression symptoms from the normal pregnancy symptoms. The signs of depression can be similar to pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue and mood swings,” said Chessick. “There is much need for further studies with the perinatal woman.”
Located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., the University of Colorado College of Nursing offers some of the highest ranked programs in the country -- from bachelor's through doctoral degrees and post-graduate certificate programs. It also is the birthplace of nurse practitioner education and the caring movement, and was one of the first schools in the country to offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
The University of Colorado Hospital is the Rocky Mountain region's leading academic medical center, and has been recognized as one of the United States’ best hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Faculty at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. For additional news and information, please visit the UC Denver newsroom online.
Contact: Jackie Brinkman, 303.724.1525 email@example.com