Sara was in her late 30’s when she became pregnant and she and her husband were ecstatic. However, her pregnancy included both physical and mental health concerns that increased with each trimester. Her physical discomfort included pain in her hips, difficulty walking and sleepless nights. She became increasingly paranoid and started to think of her baby as “an alien” growing inside of her. After giving birth her paranoia and delusions increased. Sara saw no less than five medical professionals, none of who were able or willing to properly diagnose or refer her for treatment. Sara had developed postpartum psychosis. Luckily, peripartum psychosis is rare, only impacting 0.1%-0.2% of women. What is not rare is Sara’s experience finding appropriate mental health treatment. Many women suffering from perinatal mood disorders don’t seek professional help. Treatment for perinatal mood disorders can significantly decrease stress and reduce symptomology. So why aren’t women in treatment?Read More
It is difficult to convince a postpartum woman to go to therapy. Whether or not she is depressed, a new mom is exhausted, overwhelmed and preoccupied with her new baby. Understandably, early motherhood is not the best time to introduce a therapeutic-relationship or impose a healing process that is time-intensive and costly. However, if her symptoms become worse after the baby is born, if she is experiencing intrusive or distorted thoughts, or if she is suffering enough, then she needs help and there may be no choice, but to get help right away. But how do you encourage her to engage in therapy?Read More
Jamie Kreiter is a Chicago-based therapist who treats clients with postpartum depression and anxiety issues around fertility, pregnancy and parenthood. She is partnered with Better and recommends our services to her clients and we wanted to learn more about her practice and how she uses Better to give her clients more access to treatment.Read More
Having a baby is an overwhelming, emotional experience. The realization that this tiny and fragile being is completely dependent on you—paired with the physical exhaustion and recovery of delivery, rapid hormonal changes, and sleep deprivation—can be a challenge for any new mother. In recognition of these challenges, many cultures have adapted traditions and rituals for a mother to rest and recuperate and focus solely on bonding with her new baby.
In our culture, we perpetuate the notion that women should experience a smooth and euphoric transition into motherhood. However, practices in the United States do very little to promote this. Hospital stays usually vary from 2-3 days. New mothers are not encouraged to rest or take a hiatus from household responsibilities. In fact, most are expected to resume normal activities as soon as possible, neglecting the seriousness of a woman’s physical and emotional condition after birth. A new baby brings a lot of excitement and happiness to a home, but can also bring a lot of exhaustion. How can we better take care of our mothers?Read More
Stacey Porter is this Monday’s #MightyMama. She is the Ambassador Program Lead and Training Manager for 2020 Mom, a national non-profit organization that seeks to close gaps in maternal mental health care. Stacey’s strength is to provide compassion and empathy that is sometimes missing from our society. Stacey inspires others in both her professional and personal life. Stacey experienced the loss of her 25-week-old daughter, Delilah. Talking to other mothers who had experienced trauma and loss helped Stacey to heal and find strength. Stacey tries not to hold herself to the impossible perfect standards that the media sets up for mothers, which helps her keep the balance. She has two happy and healthy children, which also keep her going. Stacey’s message to other moms is to feel free to be themselves, to laugh at #epicfails, to stop striving for perfection and to give yourself a little break sometimes. For moms who are suffering from a loss of any kind, whether it’s the loss of a child or the loss of yourself, Stacey reminds you that there is a way back.
Keep reading for Stacey's full interview.Read More
Did you know that 79% of us struggle with stress? It's undeniable, learning how to manage stress is a crucial skill in today's world.
In this guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about stress management.Read More
Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the mothers in your life. And if you are a mother, it can be a wonderful time to celebrate yourself. But Mother’s Day can also be a complicated holiday for many women, especially a new mom who may be suffering.Read More
Pregnancy and parenting is a happy time in your life. But what if it is not? Along with the joy that accompanies pregnancy and the birth of a new baby, there are also stressful experiences that generate anxiety and pervasive feelings of sadness, incompetence and loneliness. One in seven women suffer from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a group of symptoms that occur during pregnant and in the postpartum period, interfering with a mother’s emotional wellness and overall functioning. Therapy can be very effective at reducing these symptoms, but most new mothers are not interested in therapy. Here are some reasons why mothers are ambivalent about starting therapy.Read More
Mindfulness has shown a lot of promise in reducing stress and improving overall mood. Therapies that connect the mind and body allow an individual to be more cognizant of present experiences, such as bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings. The practice of mindfulness focuses on increasing a person’s awareness of the present moment in a manner that is free from judgment, self-evaluation and distraction. But how exactly does mindfulness work? How can someone use it inside and outside of therapy?Read More
This past weekend 2020 Mom, in partnership with the March of Dimes, launched March for Moms®, a walk to raise awareness for maternal mental health and related disorders, including depression and anxiety. On Sunday, marches were held throughout the country in support of mothers and their families. While the walk was open to all survivors, families, supporters and health care providers, very few fathers were present. My husband noticed this as he sat blowing up balloons with maternal health statistics printed on them. As I looked around at the many women and their children, I did notice the absence of men. Where are all the dads?Read More
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) is one of the leading complications related to childbearing; however, is often under disclosed and under diagnosed. While there are certainly improvements to be made in the medical and professional communities, many mothers do not share their symptoms with professionals or even family members. Why is it that mothers who may be suffering from depression or anxiety are reluctant to come forward and receive help?Read More
As a new mother, you are prepared for tons of dirty diapers, multiple loads of laundry, middle of the night feedings, and many new responsibilities that come with parenting. But are you prepared for the possibility of depression and anxiety?Read More
March is social work month. While the month celebrates the contributions and hard work of social workers across the nation, it also provides the opportunity to clarify what it means to be a social worker. There is often a misconception about what social workers do. Why is there such a misunderstanding about social workers?Read More
Sadness is a normal human emotion that we experience in response to painful or upsetting events. Different then depression, sadness is temporary and goes away with time.
Depression is a long-term mental state that impairs social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. It affects 1 out of 20 adults yearly. If left untreated, symptoms of depression can last for months or even years.Read More
Individuals suffering from anxiety describe it as a constant burden they are forced to carry with them. Anxiety can feel like an invasion of intrusive thoughts and a racing heart. Anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, chronic worry, social phobia, postpartum anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder, are difficult to overcome. Therapy can help reduce anxiety symptoms by identifying anxiety-based triggers and increasing coping skills.Read More