Knowledgeable and Experienced Guidance

The dangers of misdiagnosing postpartum depression

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Firm News |

Postpartum depression is a severe illness that affects many new mothers. It is a mental health condition that causes significant emotional and physical issues, both for the mother and the child.

If a medical practitioner fails to diagnose or misdiagnose postpartum depression, the mother and the child can both be in grave danger. Understanding the risks of not diagnosing postpartum depression when it is present is critical for ensuring prompt treatment.

Delay in diagnosis

One of the most dangerous things about misdiagnosing this illness or not diagnosing it at all is the delay. Postpartum depression can, and usually does, get worse without treatment.

This illness requires prompt intervention, often involving medication, therapy, a combination of both, and close observation by medical practitioners.

In severe cases, the mother can be referred to a psychiatrist who specializes in postpartum depression to treat the mother and ensure she and the child are both safe.

Mother-baby bonding

Postpartum depression affects the natural bonding process between mother and child.

A misdiagnosis can obstruct a mother’s ability to emotionally connect with her child, which is crucial for the child in the initial weeks and months after birth and essential for the relationship between the mother and her child.

Suppose a medical professional misses diagnosing the mother, and it is later found that she has had postpartum depression all along. In that case, harm to the mother and baby can be irreparable, and the untreated illness can cause lifelong problems between her and the baby.

What to do?

If you are a new mother or have just given birth to a child and present any symptoms that may point to postpartum depression, seek help immediately.

If your doctor does not listen to you, proactively seek a second opinion and ensure your needs are met and your voice is heard. It is crucial to advocate for yourself, even though this time might be challenging.

If you cannot advocate for yourself, ask someone close to you if they can advocate for you. Promptly diagnosing and treating postpartum depression is the only way to prevent tragedies from happening, and it is absolutely worth it.