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
Meet Mighty Mama Sammi Verhey and her 1-year-old daughter, Winnie. Sammi balances the adventures of parenting with a combination of humor, love and respect. Sammi discusses both the joyful and challenging moments that accompany parenting. “Sense of humor is so important for my sanity… so much of parenting is beyond your immediate control that laughing through the low points when you’re covered in spit up, or deliriously tired, or stretched too thin reminds you that the tough moments are fleeting.” Sammi is a role model for new moms out there as she remembers what bonding was like with a new infant, “It was a slow progression until we got to know each other. And once we did, it was incredible and so meaningful.” Sammi also talks about how she fosters her daughter’s independence (while supervised, of course), contagious energy and imagination! Read more on the blog about Sammi’s adventures in parenting with daughter, Winnie.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
You have read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, you have tracked the size of your baby (by fruit) week-after-week, your registry has been reviewed and approved by all of your mom-friends, parenthood—you’ve got this!
The expectations and reality of having a newborn baby are often very different. If you or your partner is suffering from depression or anxiety after the birth of a baby, the postpartum period can have a devastating impact on your marriage and family. Even in the best of circumstances, with substantial support and resources, having a baby can be a challenge, an adjustment, and a strain on your relationship.Read More
Chelsea Sahai is an immigration attorney for a non-profit serving low-income New Yorkers. She is also mom to toddler, Niam. Chelsea talks about balancing work and motherhood, “Balance is really important to me, and something you have to look at in the big picture… Sometimes, a pay cut is worth the freedom from guilt for not being in the office 12-hours a day.” She shares the importance of setting boundaries, asking for help and engaging her young son in her work. Chelsea shares advice about how she conquers motherhood with a toddler, “I try to focus on our relationship to one another, celebrating him as an individual, giving him space to (safely) explore, and nurturing his own identity.” Read more of Chelsea’s powerful story!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
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