Mental health screening in the postpartum period

Is baby eating enough? Reaching milestones in good time? And why won’t they just stay asleep? There are a thousand things to worry about with a new baby in the house, but this busy and memorable time also carries significant risks for new parents, who can lose track of their own well-being while taking care of a newborn. This is especially true when it comes to mental health.

With these risks in mind, many healthcare providers use the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) to help them evaluate new parents’ risk for postpartum depression. The EPDS is usually given by a healthcare provider at a checkup or appointment, but can also be found right here on Ovia. The EPDS has been clinically validated. This means that, when followed up with diagnosis and treatment, the EPDS has been proven to lead to improved health outcomes for new moms.

Although the EPDS is one screening tool that providers use, many healthcare providers have a different preferred screener.

What does the EPDS measure?

One thing to remember about the EPDS is that it isn’t, in itself, a diagnosis. Instead, it’s designed to measure signs of possible depression. Certain scores on the EPDS are signs that a full evaluation for depression should be done by a mental health professional. The EPDS is 10 questions long. Each question asks about the severity of one symptom, and each answer is scored on a scale of zero to three. It’s generally accepted that a score of 10 or higher may be a sign of depression, and should start further evaluation. A score of 13 or higher is thought to be a sign of some form of depression, but all scores of 10 or above should prompt further evaluation.

Getting help

Of course, depression isn’t the only mental health challenge that new parents face. New parents are short on sleep, undergoing hormonal changes, and facing new demands on their time and energy that might be completely different from anything they’re familiar with. If you’ve noticed changes in your mood or behavior, it never hurts to speak with your healthcare provider.

Your benefits

Health Net offers coverage for mental health services and support.

Members can also use the Telaodc platform. Teladoc Mental Health lets you talk to a licensed mental health expert of your choice by phone or video, 7 days a week, from the privacy of your own home.

It’s easy to get started with Teladoc Mental Health.

  1. Register and fill out a brief medical history
  2. Choose the mental health expert who is right for you
  3. Schedule a visit for a day and time that fits your schedule

There are three ways to get started with Teladoc and securely talk to a doctor today:

  1. Download the Teladoc mobile app from the iOS App Store or Google Play
  2. Visit www.teladoc.com
  3. Give Teladoc a call at (800) TELADOC (835-2362)

Select the button to visit your Health Net member portal.

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