Postpartum depression: new mothers can overcome it with an app

Postpartum depression : that is when that newborn frugoletto cries and screams and you just don’t know where to start. From the uninterrupted tears – yours – to the need for solitude and to unplug, from the sense of inadequacy to the most serious cases such as infanticide, the depression that can follow the birth of a baby takes on many forms. And all, in any case, do not allow a peaceful life, let alone a serene relationship with your child.

Postpartum depression should be talked about more. Also because, and I can hardly believe it, 80,000 of the 550,000 women who give birth in Italy suffer every year , therefore one in seven. According to some surveys, one third of women with this condition were already ill before, one third fall ill during pregnancy and one third after childbirth, up to one year of the child’s life. And the alarming thing is that only one mother in four receives adequate care : the rest are ashamed of their condition.

This will be discussed at the conference organized by Strade Onlus , an association for the study and treatment of depression, and Rebecca Foundation scheduled for today in Rome, with the aim of giving an explanation to the weakness of the mother, fought in any case between suffering his personal and desire to love his own child .

“We willpropose the definition of low functioning maternity– states Antonio Picano,specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy and manager of psychiatrist at the San Camillo hospital in Rome and president of Strade Onlus – as a concept capable of giving a unified response to all events of the discomfort of the mother during pregnancy and in the postpartum. The central problem is in fact the disability induced in the child due to the difficult condition of the mother. Helping maternal functioning means guaranteeing children the development of their own potential, in health and in freedom“.

In short, the formation and early recognition of depression would be fundamental . For this reason the association has developed a software, called Rebecca Blues , an app that can be downloaded for free on smartphones and tablets and which includes a social network with which you can strengthen the relationship with your doctor (who can be his general practitioner , the gynecologist, the child’s pediatrician, the psychologist …) and you will be able to train, together with your partner and the rest of the family.

A sort of “mobile-based self-diagnosis” system. But how does it work? Just register in the program, then everything is automatic: a test periodically appears on the mobile phone and, based on the answers that the mother enters, a green (all is well), yellow (pre-alarm) or red (emergency) traffic light arrives at the doctor.

Did it take a smartphone to overcome postpartum depression? Well, for now let’s see it as another attempt and we hope it has positive results. It is true, in fact, that to date our national health service does not provide specific assistance for depressed mothers.

Contrary to other European countries– explains Picano –where there are mother-child reception and treatment centers, in Italy, women are forced to follow the care path in situations of promiscuity with other seriously mentally ill patients. For this reason, we have created a desk dedicated exclusively to the support and advice of maternity at the San Camillo Hospital in Rome


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