Postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, labor trauma, postpartum psychosis.
These are very real disorders that are affecting our community. We should not be ashamed to take a stand. There are a lot of different options for moms dealing with perinatal mood disorders.
I would have loved to have different interventions with my son in his first year. Learning to deal with the thoughts, worry, anxiety and depression while in the moment is key. Many women in this country are failed every day. Luckily, in my case, my doctor began treating me before I even left the hospital with my newborn... but I had to ask.
I knew something was wrong. I do not feel, however, that there was enough followup or resources offered to me in my time of need. So we holed up, hunkered down, and dealt with it (or didn't) head on.
Women should be screened thoroughly for postpartum disorders several times in several different ways while still in the hospital. A quick questionnaire and video is not enough. They need to be educated. Their support system needs to educated. Risk factors need to be identified, and then talked about with the mother and support system.
There are so many things we can do for new moms. How do we make this better for everyone and stop the stigma at the same time? May is Maternal Mental Health month. Let's take care of our mothers.
Jessica Slocum, BS, CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor),