Colorado’s ‘Promise Clinic’ Is Helping Women With Prenatal Depression
Pregnancy affects different people in different ways. Some people are excited about becoming mothers, and are able to breeze through the experience. But most people struggle at least in certain areas. One big issue that affects pregnant persons is depression. Or rather, a number of mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, and OCD—all of which can come about unexpectedly and simply from the new surge in hormones rushing through your system. Fortunately, there are people out there that understand what a struggle this can be for an expecting mother. And in Colorado, a placed known as the ‘Promise Clinic’ is helping women manage prenatal depression and other mental health issues.
Located at the University of Colorado Hospital, the Promise Clinic is home to a group of doctors and therapists whose aim is to help pregnant women navigate their mental health concerns. Depression, anxiety, and other related issues are much more common during pregnancy than many folks know. While more is being done about identifying and treating postpartum depression, prenatal (or antenatal) depression is a less talked about issue. But according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, between 14 and 23% of pregnant persons will deal with symptoms of depression, not to mention that 1 in 4 women deal with symptoms of depression at some point during their lifetime in general. It makes a lot of sense then to start treating this issue more seriously.
29-year-old Amber Cummings has been a patient at the Promise Clinic
“I was like a roller coaster, I became up and down a lot,” Cummings said in an interview with 9News. “A lot of times, I would just be in my dark place.. but I didn’t recognize it as OCD. I didn’t recognize it as depression.”
Over time, Cummings realized that she was not feeling fine, and instead was crying frequently and feeling more and more anxiety over her pregnancy. Eventually, her OBGYN told her she could find some help at the Promise Clinic.
“With patients like Amber, we try to figure out what their symptoms are, what is going on, and what would be the most helpful. Whether that be therapy, medication or both. Then based on that initial interview—we make a plan.”
For Cummings, that meant therapy, medication, and meeting with Dr. Ashby on a weekly basis. She finally gave birth to her daughter last Christmas and while she’s still working through some of her issues, she said she’s grateful for the care she got at the clinic.
Here’s hoping that more hospitals and doctors team up to create similar treatment clinics around the country.
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