Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help. April / May
Q: I recently had my second child and I’ve been feeling depressed and anxious. How do I know if I have postpartum depression?
A: First, I want to say, you’re not alone and the transition from one child to two is hard! Also, it’s very common to have baby blues the first few weeks postpartum, which can include feeling depressed and anxious. However, if you’re continuing to feel this way for longer and it’s not getting better, then you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Signs of postpartum depression can include feeling down, crying more often, not finding joy in things you normally enjoy, feeling irritable, feeling hopeless or worthless, having low energy and motivation, trouble sleeping (even if you have the opportunity to sleep), intrusive thoughts, difficulty bonding with your baby and change in appetite.
If you are having any thoughts of harm toward yourself or your baby, these are more serious symptoms, and it is important you seek help right away. If you think you might have postpartum depression, contact your medical provider or a therapist. Or, you can call the national perinatal depression/anxiety helpline at 800-944-4773 for information and support.
Generally, sleep, social support and self-care are important steps to feeling better. Your health care provider can assist with helpful recommendations or offer other treatment options.
— Petra Zdenkova, PsyD, Samaritan Obstetrics & Gynecology - Corvallis
Q: My teenager recently started dating. What are some tips to explain the difference between consent and coercion?
A: It’s important that parents talk about sexual consent with their teens and revisit the conversation often. Start by discussing boundaries. Have your teenager define what their own personal boundaries are, understand that others need to respect them and that they have the right to change their boundaries. In return, your teen should also understand that they need to respect boundaries established by others.
Next, discuss what consent means for your teen. Consent is more than saying “yes” to something. It must be given freely, voluntarily and be mutually understood by all parties involved. Consent is ongoing and can be withdrawn at any time.
Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats. Consent does not exist if pressure or coercion are used to gain it.
Lastly, keep the dialogue open and ongoing. As your teenager starts engaging in relation- ships, continue bringing up the topics of consent and healthy boundaries. By talking about consent regularly the conversations will become normalized and your teen will have the skills to enjoy healthy, safe and respectful relationships.
— Karyn Chandler, RN, sexual assault nurse examiner, Sarah’s Place
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Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.