Tag Archives: pregnancy

You’re Not Alone: The Truth About Postpartum Depression

You’ve seen the pictures on social media: happy new mothers holding their swaddled, sleeping newborn.

Exhausted, you looked in the mirror. You didn’t have enough energy to put on makeup and you still have no idea why your newborn won’t sleep.

You scrolled through a trove of pictures of smiling families with their babies and wondered, “What am I doing wrong? What am I missing?”

You felt alone.

According to Douglas M. Addy, MD, FACOG an OB/GYN at Sandhills Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, that misconception is a new mother’s first mistake. You’re not alone.

While commercials, social media and magazines may portray motherhood as a perfectly joyous time, Dr. Addy said many new moms experience depression after giving birth, something often referred to as the baby blues. And 10 percent of all women who give birth experience postpartum depression, a debilitating form of depression that can, in extreme cases, be life threatening to both a new mom and her children.

“Postpartum depression can get so bad that it’s difficult to care for yourself, much less your baby, or anyone else in your family,” Dr. Addy said. “It can be a psychiatric emergency that needs to be monitored closely to make sure you’re getting better.”

Despite the severity of this condition, many women with postpartum depression often go untreated because of the stigma associated with it.

Dr. Douglas Addy

“When you have a baby, you’re supposed to be so happy that the baby is there,” Dr. Addy said. “It’s really hard for people to come to grips with what happens to their moods, and they may feel as if they’re not bonding with their baby. These women consider their feelings a sign of weakness, but it isn’t.”

Diagnosing postpartum depression can be difficult because many new moms brush off the symptoms that include lack of sleep, no appetite and an overwhelming sense of sadness as something women experience as part of childbirth.

“Women with postpartum depression find themselves crying at everything,” Dr. Addy said. “Anything can trigger an emotional response, which makes normal activities impossible.”

While the medical community knows that hormonal changes after pregnancy lead to postpartum depression, which specific hormonal changes have not been identified.

There is help for women struggling with depression after childbirth. They only need to speak with their doctor. Currently, most pediatricians also screen new moms for postpartum depression.

If a medical professional feels you have depression, he or she may refer you to a counselor, prescribe an antidepressant, or refer you to a psychiatrist for treatment. Sometimes just having someone to talk to can help.

“While postpartum depression will eventually get better, it can take a long time and there’s no need for new moms to needlessly suffer,” Dr. Addy said.

Centering Class Welcomes New Babies

Lexington Medical Center is overjoyed to welcome the first group of babies whose moms took part in an innovative program at the hospital called “Centering,” which allows pregnant women to receive prenatal care in a group setting.

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At the beginning of pregnancy, a mother-to-be will have an individual prenatal visit and physical exam. If she chooses to “center” her pregnancy, she’ll join a group of other expectant mothers with similar due dates for monthly Centering sessions instead of traditional office visits. Dads-to-be are welcome, too.

Upon arrival at Lexington Women’s Care, class members go directly to the Centering session where they’re greeted by staff and enjoy refreshments. There’s no waiting in the lobby for the doctor. Each Centering session lasts about two hours and offers women a supportive environment to share physical, emotional and medical pregnancy experiences.

The same physician or midwife serves as the group facilitator at each session. He or she privately performs regular health assessments such as blood pressure, weight, belly checks and heart tones at the beginning of each session. After the assessment, the facilitator leads a group discussion on topics related to pregnancy and parenting, including the physical changes women experience during pregnancy, preparing for labor and delivery, nutrition, family planning, safety, conflict resolution, parenting and newborn care.

Lexington Medical Center recently welcomed its first babies from the Centering program! WIS-TV followed this group throughout the process.


Importantly, Centering has been shown to decrease rates of preterm delivery and offer other advantages, too, including higher rates of breastfeeding and lower rates of postpartum depression.

The term “Centering” comes from the idea that the program offers obstetric care in a group setting that places responsibility on the mom, realizing that she’s the center of her and her baby’s well-being.

“Centering” Pregnancy at Lexington Women’s Care

Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, offers a “Centering” program for moms-to-be. “Centering” allows expectant moms to be more involved in their care through health assessments, education and support in a group setting.

During two-hour sessions, women undergo regular health assessments with a physician or midwife, including belly checks and heart tones. then, the group discusses topics related to pregnancy and parenting.

Laern more in the WIS-TV news story below, featuring Lexington Women’s Care OB/GYN Valerie Skinner leading a “Centering” class.


Topics at “Centering” sessions include pregnancy, how to prepare for childbirth and motherhood, baby care, breastfeeding, childproofing your house and baby milestones.

For more information about “Centering,” Call Lexington Women’s Care at (803) 936-8100.