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Maternal Mental Health

An estimated 1 in 5 mothers experience postpartum depression but less than a quarter are actually screened. Emotional changes can happen to any new mom and maternal mental health issues are more common than people realize. It can lead to long-term depression, a lack of emotional availability and detrimental outcomes in the development of the fetus, newborn and developing child if it is left untreated. It is important to address the issue of maternal mental health to help mothers and their families.

Motherhood is a huge transition. 1 in 5 women experience depression after having a baby.

It’s important to understand the emotional changes that new mothers can go through. Postpartum depression is more common than people realize.

Be sure to understand the symptoms in case you, a family member or friend needs help or support.

Postpartum Depression

It’s important to know when to seek professional help. Below are some things to look out for:

  • Crying more often than usual
  • Feeling angry or resentful
  • Withdrawing from loved ones
  • Extreme worry about your baby or feeling distant from your baby or yourself
  • Worrying that you will hurt your baby or yourself
  • Feeling guilty about not being a good parent or doubting your ability to care for your baby
  • Feeling your symptoms are unbearable

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms. Help is available, you are not alone.

How Others can Help

  • Listen without judgment and encourage her to talk about her feelings
  • Encourage her to take time for herself since motherhood is a 24–hour job and fatigue is a major cause of stress
  • Reassure her that she is not alone and things will get better
  • Help with responsibilities around the house so there is no need to ask

Here are additional resources if you or loved one are experiencing depression or anxiety during or after pregnancy: