May 1st through 7th is Maternal Mental Health Week!
Did you know about Maternal Mental Health Week? Many people don't know about this call to awareness, most of whom are mothers themselves. Did you also know that 1 in 7 women will experience postpartum depression? Are you 1 in 7? Do you know someone who is? One in 7 is a LARGE number of women to experience postpartum depression, something that is so infrequently discussed in the home, with our partners, or even with our physicians. What is even more interesting is that DADS experience this, too! With something so prevalent in our society it always makes me wonder why we're not talking about it more often...
I think, in my experience with working with women and their partners, postpartum depression is an extremely common reason for couples entering my office with complaints of less than ideal transitions into parenthood, yet they don't mention it. It's kind of like that elephant sitting in the room. You know it's there, you just can't quite bring yourself to talk about it with others. Well, let me tell you, that elephant is probably also sitting in your friend's room, your neighbor's room, and your sister's room, and it was quite possibly sitting in your mother's room at some point, too. So why don't we open up the conversation now.
Did you know that a strong support network is one of the best indicators for recovery of postpartum mood disorders? Growing your knowledge and your support system is a great way to help prepare you for possibly experiencing postpartum anxiety or depression, and to reduce the severity of it should it arise before or after your baby is born. Now is the time to reach out and get the information you need.
Here are a few amazing, well-trusted resources to turn to for learning more about postpartum anxiety and mood disorders:
Postpartum Support International: http://postpartum.net
Maternal Mental Health Coalition: http://mmhcoalition.com
2020 Mom Project: http://www.2020mom.org
Another great way to help yourself prepare for the birth of your little one is to make a postpartum anxiety and depression plan upon the arrival of baby. This plan will have information pertaining to social supports, things friends and family can do to support you during this time, possible physician contact information, and checklists of symptoms to keep an eye on. Also, you can include contact information for a well-reputable therapist in your area with specialized training in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Therapists who are specially trained in treating postpartum mood and anxiety disorders will be familiar with what you might be experiencing, empathetic to your situation, and welcome you in a safe, non-judgmental environment. They usually have chocolates and yummy foods to eat, too!
So take this information and put it to use! Open up the conversation, share your story, and make those mommy connections!
For more information on postpartum mood and anxiety disorders or to schedule an appointment call or email today!