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New moms with postpartum depression encouraged to attend support group

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Health System (LUHS) will offer a support group for women with postpartum depression. The group meets from 9-10 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Loyola Center for Health at Oakbrook Terrace located at 1S260 Summit Ave.

“Loyola’s support group provides women suffering from postpartum depression with an outlet to express their feelings and meet others who can relate to their experience,” said Laura De La Pena, RNC, MSN, postpartum depression support group leader.

The group is open to all new mothers and is led by a registered nurse who is trained to help women cope with postpartum depression. Attendees must arrange for childcare for their infants during the session.

Postpartum depression occurs in 15-20 percent of mothers. Symptoms include blues that do not go away and worsen into strong feelings of depression and anger. Women also may express a lack of interest in the baby, a fear of harming the baby and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

While the state of Illinois requires that women be screened once at the time of delivery, LUHS has a more comprehensive program, which mandates that women are screened at 28 weeks, at delivery and at six weeks postpartum.

"Unlike other programs, Loyola's screening protocol requires that we check in with women at several points during and after their pregnancy to detect any risk factors," De La Pena said. "This has allowed us to better identify women at risk and offer care to meet the medical, psychological and emotional needs of our patients."

The standard Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is used to assess risk of postpartum depression. A nurse administers the screening in which the mother is asked to answer 10 short statements about her feelings. If it is determined that the mother is at risk, the nurse then works with the patient's obstetrician to coordinate care with a psychiatry team to develop an individualized plan of support.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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Media Relations
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