Hi. A fellow student nurse and I must prepare a class presentation on the following. "Eve"gave birth to a healthy baby boy seven weeks ago. Over the past three weeks Eve shows symptoms of post natal depression. Pregnancy and birth caused Eve to reflect on her relationship with her own mother,who suffered mental health problems all her life.Although her husband tries to reassure her, Eve now feels that she is a failure as a mother and that she is "facing a lifetime of mental illness".
I wish to hear your suggestions about
1. how might a community psychiatric nurse help Eve to deal with issues affecting her self-esteem and mothering role
2. what is the role of the community psychiatric nurse in supporting Eve's husband and involving him in Eve's care plan
I look foward to hearing from you.
Nov 24, '00
Active listening will be helpful, just to let her get her feelings and concerns out.
Depending on how debilitated she is by her depression, you may want to get her linked up with other new mothers, so that she can see that some of her self-doubts and anxieties are relatively typical and that she is making a lot of hyperbole statements to herself- "I will _never_ be a good mother". I assume that you are supporting any plan for anti-depressants, assuring that she is taking them appropriately, etc. Find out what has worked in the past to help her deal with depression. Find out if she has a therapist and support continued work in that direction.
Husband needs teaching on the nature of post-partum depression. He needs some active listening, too, to express his fears. I might give this couple some explicit permission to go out for the evening as a couple and explain that they might still find themselves preoccupied with what is happening with the baby, but to get out and maintain their couple-hood is part of being good parents. Some assessment of how deeply this depression is affecting their life while guide what you do next. Is the mom so debilitated that the father is having to stay home and provide the care? what family support exists for the young family? What have they enjoyed doing together in the past? How is the mother handling the baby? Lovingly? Does she taking crying personally? Does she know how to read the baby's cues (upset, overstimulated, quiet alert stage)? As always, your assessment will guide intervention. Good luck