Our society loves to focus on the joys of being a mother, but we avoid discussion of the negative sides.
One of the major things we’re not talking about is maternal mental health. A recent Broadly article brought to light the lack of awareness about maternal mental health, despite the high number of mother facing perinatal depression. According to the NY State Department of Health, “up to 20% of women develop perinatal depression,” and with mothers already predisposed to depression, anxiety, and OCD at an even high risk. But don’t worry, there is treatment. According to the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, “90% of women who have maternal depression can be treated successfully with a combination of medication and counseling.”
So why aren’t we talking about this more about this? Lack of awareness and a stigma around discussing anything that contradicts the image of a new mother’s happiness.
Struggling with mental illness doesn’t make you a worse mother. It’s possible to feel the joy of parenting and the negative sides as well. By starting the dialogue, we can de-stigmatize maternal mental health and help prevent so many mothers unnecessary pain.
For more information, check out the full Broadly article.