If you stand in a room filled with 100 mothers, at least 14 of them likely suffered from postpartum depression. That’s 1 in 7. In a room with 1000 moms, you’ll find one or two who experienced postpartum psychosis. Why did some moms suffer while others were spared the pain of a postpartum mood disorder?
Were you one of the women standing in the room who experienced postpartum depression or psychosis? If so, you can help improve understanding of who will be at risk in the future by becoming involved in a landmark study using an App currently available in Australia, Canada, and the United States, and coming soon to the UK and Denmark.
Postpartum Depression: Action Towards Causes and Treatment (PACT) Consortium, is an international group of academic clinicians and scientists committed to understanding the interaction of genes and environment to predict which women are at risk of postpartum depression (PPD). They have developed a free App, now available for iOS and android devices that will aid in data collection. The app asks questions about childbirth experience and mood symptoms following delivery, and can suggest possible treatment resources available if necessary. The PPD ACT app was first launched in 2016, and the updated app has been improved to include android devices and has questions about health care utilization so we can understand the economic burden of Postpartum Mood disorders.
Some women will be sent saliva kits for further analysis of their genes. A small amount of saliva is collected and returned to the study group, where it is scanned for genetic markers that can help identify any patterns among women who suffered from postpartum depression. Appreciating patterns will help researchers formulate new and better treatments for postpartum illnesses in the future.
Your involvement is imperative to improve detection, prevention, and treatment of postpartum depression and psychosis. Please help the PACT Consortium reach its goal to have 100,000 women from around the world participating in its study— the more we know about postpartum depression and psychosis, the better we will be at identifying women at risk early and treating them effectively.
Postpartum Support International, the world’s leading organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood disorders, stands with the PACT Consortium and supports its efforts to gain a greater understanding of the genetic and environmental underpinnings of postpartum depression and psychosis. Women needlessly struggle with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in every country in the world, losing valuable and priceless time with their newborns to painful illnesses that are far too often stigmatized and left untreated. We hope that improved knowledge of postpartum depression and psychosis will lead to reduced stigma and improved access to proper treatment.
Women all over the world deserve to feel well and to enjoy motherhood; their babies and families deserve to have them feeling well. Please help us in supporting the invaluable work underway by the PACT Consortium by downloading and completing the questions on the App and sending in your saliva kit for analysis. Your battle with postpartum depression or psychosis can serve to help women in the future by improving understanding of risk, and formulating new and improved treatment options.
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Carly Snyder, M.D. is a Psychiatrist in New York City with a focus and expertise in Reproductive Psychiatry. Dr. Snyder is the Clinical Course Director for the Reproductive and Perinatal Psychiatry Program at Beth Israel Medical Center. She holds faculty appointments in Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Medical Center, and a teaching appointment at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Snyder serves on the Board of Directors for Postpartum Support International, and is a member of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium in NYC. Dr. Snyder also sees patients in her private practice located on the Upper East Side of New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University, attended NYU School of Medicine and completed residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, with additional sub-specialized elective training at Weill Cornell’s Payne Whitney Women’s Program. Dr. Snyder treats women experiencing emotional and psychiatric challenges at any age. Her approach uses a combination of traditional psychiatric methods with integrative medicine-based treatments to optimize the whole body, mind and well-being. Dr. Snyder provides individualized treatment that focus on improving a woman’s physical and emotional health. In addition to more traditional psychiatric modalities, she has extensive experience treating patients with natural supplements, either alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy. @CarlySnyderMD