Did you know that October 5th is the day when more children are born than any other day? Which means October 6th and the coming days, weeks and months are when more mothers will experience the crushing weight of post partum depression. Untreated. Post partum depression.
My friend and warrior mother on this road, Katherine Stone, founder of Post Partum Progress, writes more beautifully and knowledgeably than I ever can on this topic. It has become her life’s work, to save women and children from unnecessary suffering.
“Every mother shares a common wish. It doesn’t matter what level of education she has, where she lives, her race or her religion: she wants desperately to be a good mom. Imagine then, that most important dream being dashed at the start. At a time when others celebrate new life, this mom is devastated, disconnected and afraid. Her symptoms can range from the inability to eat or sleep, to disturbing thoughts about harming her child, to numbness or feelings of unbridled rage, among others. She is unable to function on a daily basis. She is convinced without question that she has failed as a mother.
The only way to reverse that perception and get her new family off to a healthy start is to treat her for the most common complication of childbirth: postpartum depression and anxiety. Except, she either doesn’t know she needs treatment or, if she does, she doesn’t know where to find it or doesn’t have access to it. Like the vast majority of other mothers with her condition, she won’t get the professional help she needs. She has no idea whatsoever that this could lead to health problems, including lifelong chronic depression, and that her baby is being affected negatively as well when it comes to his or her cognitive development, attachment and future psychological health.
It might be one thing if she was among just a handful of moms, but she isn’t. She is among more than half a million mothers with untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in America’s population each year, as well as several hundred thousand more still suffering from illnesses that were never treated the previous years, and at least one million children whose future health is unquestionably at stake.”
I have had my brush with this illness, after a particularly difficult miscarriage. It wasn’t until I started talking to friends that I realized the vast supression of underground of voices that were in pain. I asked for help. In my instance, removing a medication and having my mother in law stay for a couple of weeks, literally saved me. It is different for everyone. But no one can find the solution that works for them by themselves. They need help. And they need a place to go.
Katherine’s organization has proven to me it is that place. Post Partum Progress is a registered 5013(c) meaning that for US residents, all donations are tax deductible.
Mothers cannot due their great work, make their pivotal contribution, if they are frightened and without support. Will you be part of that solution?
Did you get the “baby blues” or did someone you love experience difficulties with depression and sadness after child birth? What did you do? How did you pull out or help? Share your thoughts below so others can learn from your wisdom and insight.