This week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness week. Many women experience mental health difficulties both during and after pregnancy. These challenges are often not spoken about. Feelings of depression and anxiety begin to occur, and many women feel that they are a “bad mom” due to these feelings. It is important to address these feelings and gain a better understanding of ways to cope with them.

Women may experience postpartum depression and anxiety, which may occur both during pregnancy after up to a year after birth.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:

· Depressed mood

· Difficulty bonding with your baby

· Withdrawing from family and friends

· Challenges with sleeping

· Reduced interest and pleasure doing things.

· Intense irritability

· Fear you are not a good mother.

· And more

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety

· Constant worry that cannot be eased

· Challenges with sleeping

· Racing thoughts

· Excessive worry about baby’s health and safety

· Overwhelming stress about the ability to be a parent.

· Physiological symptoms such as elevated heartbeat

· Any more

If you have experienced these challenges, you are not alone. Approximately 10 to 20% of women experience these symptoms. This year’s Maternal Mental Health week focuses on Journeys to recovery. Many individuals are sharing their stories on the struggles they have experienced as well as ways to seek help and resources. This year, resources have changed the ways they deliver services. Through the awareness being discussed this week, individuals are highlighting how to seek support for moms and families.

Some resources include:

Here at Quintessential Health, we provide individual and family therapy to help you manage and learn ways to cope with these symptoms.

At Postpartum Support Internal, they provide weekly online support meetings to listen and share your stories. See their website

You may also find many support groups through CHOP’s website