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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12816
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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I'm not sure what professional I should direct this too. My

Customer Question

I'm not sure what professional I should direct this too. My 34 year old niece was pregnant with her third child. Her first 2 are both girls, 12 yr. & 7 yr. old. This was a boy, what made her dreams come true. The girls are from her first mate while the boy's father was her fiance.
Here's the thing: at 4 1/2 months pregnant, doctors found something wrong with the baby's heart. After some further tests the left side of the heart was enlarged and not pumping out blood. The baby was dying inside her.
I don't know all of the details but, she delivered the baby after it was dead. She was given 7 epidurals during the delivery but, otherwise was not sedated at all. I'm not sure if she chose any of this or not. I was told by a close friend to watch out for my niece.
What can I do? What should I do? What should we watch out for?
She delivered Wednesday afternoon, was kept overnight, and sent home Thursday night. She has some type of infection that's being treated with anti-bio tics. The hospital gave her several pictures of the baby and other things like foot/hand prints. As of yesterday, she has been making several copies of the pictures without really having plans for them.
Please, advise me on this matter!!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Family Physician replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question:

Following childbirth, many women experience depression (postpartum depression). There are a number of factors that contribute to this including the dramatic changes in hormone levels after delivery. In the case of stillborn, there is the additional trigger of grief - the loss of a child, combined with friends and family not knowing what to say or do. Many times friends just "back off" and withdraw to avoid a situation that can be very uncomfortable.

Some women experience severe depression, while others have much milder forms of depression. If she is exhibiting any signs of severe depression, she should be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist. A grief counselor who deals with loss of a child or stillbirths may be useful.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your answer!
Is there anything I can do? I don't want to be one of the "uncomfortable standoffers". Most of the family seem to think, "She seems allright. If she needs any help, she'll ask."
I am very concerned with both daughters, the older one particullarly. She has already been treated as if she has no real feelings and has to be responsible since she is the oldest. This has been going on since her younger sister was born. Before that, being the "only child" was all she knew, being "princess" and a bit spoiled.
I'm afraid this situation will be taken out on her.
What can I do?
Should I do anything?
Expert:  Family Physician replied 4 years ago.
I would keep in touch, offer any help and watch for signs of depression (withdrawal, lack of interest, change in sleep pattern or eating patterns or irritability.

There isn't any magic thing to do - just be available. You can think of this much as you would someone who just lost a spouse or older child - only worse in some ways because of the hormonal changes.

If there is any concern - "forcing" her to seek medical treatment is the best option.
Family Physician and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay. Thank you for your answer and advice. I'm sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I will keep an eye on my niece and watch for any serious deppression. I will accept your answer now so you can get paid. I will also rate yopur service and provide any positive feedback I can>
Thanks again!
Expert:  Family Physician replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Your niece is lucky to have someone who is concerned. Just knowing that someone cares can help in times of sorrow and trouble.

Please let me know in the future if I can be of any help.

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