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Unconventional Treatment May Help New Moms

Mothers suffering from postpartum depression may have an alternative to traditional therapy: online treatment provided anonymously by certified health care providers.

According to researchers Judith Maloni, PhD, the lead investigator and professor emerita of nursing, and Amy Przeworski, PhD, co-investigator and assistant professor of psychology, mothers with postpartum depression say they are more willing to consider online treatment than visit the doctor.

The study, published in Archives for Psychiatric Nursing, showed that many

women don’t seek counseling because of the stigma associated with mental health issues and the limited time they have available while caring for a newborn.

“Mothers cannot always find a sitter and then spend time driving to and from counseling,” says Maloni. “An online intervention is available when the moms have time.”

Although new mothers would not have access to health care providers 24 hours a day, they would have the flexibility of scheduling an online chat that best fits their hectic timetable. The new mothers also say they would like to learn coping strategies, find information about depression and join chat rooms or blogs with health professionals.

The researchers hope to design a website and online interventions to address the mothers’ needs.

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