1 in 5 women will suffer from a maternal mental health disorder like postpartum depression.
That is a lot of women struggling in silence.
It’s Maternal Mental Health Week, and it’s so important they are heard. It’s important to realize, too, that perinatal mood disorders cover an entire spectrum. While we generally think we’re familiar with postpartum depression, what I didn’t realize – until I was in it – is that 10% of women may instead experience postpartum anxiety, and about 3-5% develop perinatal OCD symptoms. I had no idea there was a name for my intrusive and repetitive thoughts and fears, only shame. Still other women face postpartum PTSD, bipolar mood disorders, and postpartum psychosis. It’s an incredibly complex spectrum that many are too ashamed or exhausted to explore. That’s why I’m so grateful there are women who are willing to talk about it, and that there are resources to help women see that they aren’t alone. There is help without judgment. Motherhood is a major physical, mental and chemical shift. Asking for support doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you human.