Maternal Mental Health Month

Maternal Mental Health Month

Renee Darling, Staff Writer

The minute a new life is brought into the world a woman becomes a mother. She is filled with gratitude and unconditional love, creating a unique relationship between her and her child. Motherhood is, after all, considered the greatest gift of life, and moms can truly do it all; they nurture us, guide us, support us, and juggle all of life’s trials while keeping a smile on their faces. But when the anxiety sets in. And the depression. And the paralyzing worry and confusion, often known as the “baby blues” or postpartum depression (PPD), this viewpoint can change.

May not only includes a day to honor and thank moms for their influence and importance in our lives but is dedicated to raising awareness about mothers’ mental health in Maternal Mental Health Month. The goal is to create a society that gives women more choices during and after pregnancy and education about maternal mental health. In bringing light to the symptoms of their depression, people hope they can relieve the pain of moms across the globe and make them feel like they aren’t alone.

Around fifteen percent of women develop PPD after childbirth, characterized by “extensive periods of sadness, loneliness, fatigue, tearfulness, and recurrent thoughts of death,” according to Akua Mind and Body. But societal stereotypes of motherhood portray it as a blissful experience, making many moms feel guilty and confused for feeling depressed. Poor mental health during pregnancy can lead to “miscarriage, delivering before the due date (preterm), and giving birth to underweight babies,” and hinder their ability to take care of themselves and their child after birth. But oftentimes, these moms don’t get the help they need.

However, people can now support maternal mental health on social media and by donating to fundraisers in hopes that more mothers will be able to take care of themselves and their child or children more effectively. Visit Postpartum Support International for opportunities to support maternal mental health.