May has officially been declared Maternal Mental Health Month in Arizona.
As someone who’s recently been through pregnancy and is still in the midst of postpartum, I can attest firsthand how important it is that emphasis be placed on maternal mental health.
Not only does a woman go through massive amounts of physical changes during nine months of pregnancy, but then she goes through labor and delivery (which is no walk in the park!) and is expected to go home and care for this new little life.
This life-altering experience can be overwhelming, exhausting, and stressful especially if a partner is not able to take much time off of work or if family is not close by to help.
Combine that with drastically changing hormones, stitched up bodies, and severe sleep deprivation, it’s no wonder why many moms might find themselves suffering from postpartum anxiety, depression, or even post traumatic stress disorder from a birth-related experience.
Speaking from experience, here are some ways moms who are struggling with their mental health can find relief or get help:
- Talk to your doctor or midwife about how you are feeling–medication may be necessary and helpful
- Seek out a counselor who specializes in maternal mental health
- Look into a postpartum doula for care and support
- Get outside each day. If that is not possible, open blinds and windows to allow for natural light in the house
- Find time each day to engage in a destressing self-care activity such as yoga, a bubble bath, reading, meditation, or a walk
- Connect with friends and family either in person, over the phone, or online
Moms should not have to suffer in silence, and now, with an entire month dedicated to maternal mental health, hopefully there will be more light shed on their mental well-being.