May is Maternal Mental Health Month

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Think of five women in your life.

It could be those in your inner circle of trust.  Co-workers.  Sisters, cousins.

Now try to determine which of those has suffered from a maternal mental illness.

One in five pregnant or postpartum women are diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder during the perinatal period.

Twenty years ago, the only understanding of postpartum depression that the general public had was worst case scenarios of psychosis.  Such cases did not give a representative picture of what women might experience.  They weren’t simply depression.  They were mental illness tipped into extreme crisis.

More recently, the use of ‘postpartum depression’ has been replaced with the more fitting description of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD).  After all, mental health struggles can present themselves in many forms besides depression and at any point during the prenatal and postnatal period.

While even the last ten years have seen a blossoming of knowledge and support for women suffering from these conditions, there is still such a long way to go to make sure women do not feel alone and, more importantly, get the help they need to recover and thrive.

That’s where Maternal Mental Health Month comes in . . .

The month of May has been designated as Maternal Mental Health Month.  A global consortium of organizations who support maternal mental health have joined forces to spread awareness via social media and in-person events #maternalMHmatters

Consider following any or all of these organizations for amazing info and understanding.

If you feel you’re struggling more than you should, consider these resources:

Watch for #maternalMHmatters on social media this month and read other mothers’ stories.  You will see that you truly are not alone.  And that there is hope.

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