On the heels of Mother’s Day, a holiday to celebrate moms and all the support they give us, it is important that we flip the script and turn our attention to moms and what kind of support they need – specifically new moms or moms to be going through anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression can be common as soon as a woman learns she is pregnant, up to a year after giving birth, and anytime in between. Researchers believe that depression is one of the most common problems women experience during and after pregnancy. According to a national survey, about 1 in 8 women experiences postpartum depression after having a baby.
According to the New York Department of Health, 10-20% of mothers will experience prenatal and postpartum depression, and as high as 80% will experience the baby blues. A few signs of this depression and anxiety include feeling:
• Extremely sad or angry without warning
• Foggy or have trouble completing tasks
• "Robotic" - like they are just going through the motions
• Very anxious around the baby and other children
• Guilty and like they are failing at motherhood
• Unusually irritable or angry
• Insomnia or sleep problems
They also often have:
• Little interest in things they used to enjoy
• Scary, upsetting thoughts that don't go away
What causes maternal depression?
Depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after birth can happen to anyone. However, several factors make some women more likely than others to experience one or both of these conditions. These risk factors include:
• A history of depression or anxiety, either during pregnancy or at other times
• Family history of depression or anxiety
• A difficult pregnancy or birth experience
• Giving birth to twins or other multiples
• Experiencing problems in your relationship with your partner
• Experiencing financial problems
• Receiving little or no support from family or friends to help you care for your baby
• Unplanned pregnancy
How and where can I get treatment?
All five of our funded partner agencies offer support for anxiety and depression. This can be in the form of mental health treatment, education and support groups, talk therapy, programs designed for families, and in certain situations, housing services. Visit our website to learn more: https://www.whmhrb.org/find-help-funded-partner-agencies
Is there anything I can do in addition to treatment?
• Connect with other moms. Look for a moms' group in your community or online. These groups may give you the chance to learn from others who are going through or have gone through the same thing and to share your own feelings.
• Make time for yourself. Do something for yourself, like getting out of the house, or taking a hot bath without interruption. If you can, have your partner, a family member, or babysitter watch the baby regularly and go visit a friend or run an errand.
• Do something you enjoy. Whether it is listening to music, reading a book, or watching a favorite movie, take a bit of time each day to do something you enjoy.
• Be realistic. You don't have to do everything. You don't have to have the "perfect" home. Just do what you can and leave the rest.
• Ask for help. Don't be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, whether it's caring for the baby or doing household chores.
• Rest when the baby rests. Sleep is just as important for you as it is for the baby. Sleep when the baby sleeps, during naps, and at night.
• Be with others. Seek out other adults, like family and friends, who can provide comfort and company. Regularly create a special time for you and your partner or for you and a friend to be together.
Remember, depression and anxiety that happen during pregnancy or after the birth of your baby are not things you cause—they are medical conditions that require medical care. Reach out to us – we are here.
Wayne County: 330.264.2527
Holmes County: 330.674.5772
We aim to improve awareness of and access to mental health and addiction treatment and prevention services in Wayne & Holmes Counties.
We provide leadership, support, and funding to community partners and agencies in the delivery of mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
Our agencies provide addiction treatment programs, mental health counseling, suicide prevention programming, and more! Experience you can trust.
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