CINCINNATI — Christ Hospital and the Galia Collaborative are teaming up to offer a new program to help moms who might be experiencing postpartum depression.
In 2020, the number of women experiencing postpartum symptoms rose to about 30%, almost double what it was in 2019.
Ashley Solomon, a clinical psychologist and the director of the Galia Collaborative, said she thinks that number is underestimated. Part of the reason might be because women who have postpartum symptoms don't know they do
After giving birth four years ago, Lexie Dressman said she felt anxious and had trouble keeping food down.
"I was so tired and I couldn't sleep," Dressman said. "I would lay down and have, what I know is akin to a panic attack... And I think even more so worried about how we would get used to this new normal."
Eventually, Dressman was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, but she said at the time she didn't know those were symptoms.
"I had always thought postpartum depression was fears of hurting your baby, fears of killing yourself," she said.
Solomon said those can be symptoms, but they are often less extreme. Usually, symptoms include irritability, inability to concentrate, a loss of appetites and not being able to sleep.
"And also, we don't often talk about the anxiety that comes with postpartum depression," Solomon said.
After Dressman's first pregnancy, she went on medication to help with her postpartum anxiety, but when she was pregnant a second time, she started meeting with Solomon leading up to giving birth.
"The experience that I had with my second child postpartum versus my first child postpartum was night and day," Dressman said. "If I had had this program when I had my first child, my daughter, I probably would have started feeling better a lot quicker."
The services offered by the Galia Collaborative are available to new and expecting moms at Christ Hospital.