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New hospital guidelines to help mothers at risk of postpartum depression
Date:6/22/2012

Although 13 percent of new mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD) in the first year after childbirth, few women recognize the symptoms and seldom discuss their feelings with a health care provider. University of Louisville Hospital (ULH) hopes to change this statistic through a new policy to guide hospital-based perinatal nurses in caring for women with risk of PPD.

M. Cynthia Logsdon, PhD, APRN, FAAN, professor, University of Louisville School of Nursing, and associate chief of nursing research, University of Louisville Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and her team created evidence-based practice guidelines using research recently published on-line in The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing.

"The hospital policies and procedures are designed to provide perinatal nurses the tools they need to prepare new mothers so they are able to self-monitor for symptoms of depression and know what steps to take if they experience symptoms," Logsdon said.

According to Logsdon, most hospitals lack comprehensive perinatal patient PPD assessment, education and referral policies. Although professional organizations such as the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario previously published a best practices guideline, the recommendations did not focus on the first few days following childbirth or nursing care while the new mother was hospitalized.

"Our recommendations for nursing practice of hospital-based perinatal nurses go beyond previous published guidelines," Logsdon said.

Logsdon and her team, Diane Eckert, BSN, RN, clinical manager, mother-baby unit, ULH, and Roselyn Tomasulo, RN, MSN, perinatal educator, collaborated with internationally-known researchers in the field to draft the article, Identification of Mothers at Risk for Postpartum Depression by Hospital Based Perinatal Nurses. A task force of clinical nurses was consulted to determine how to improve nursing practice at ULH. Implem
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Contact: Julie Heflin
julie.heflin@louisville.edu
502-852-7987
University of Louisville
Source:Eurekalert

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