Maternal Mental Health is the emotional and mental state of an expecting or new mother. Perinatal Mood Disorders affect 1 in 7 mothers. Many people have heard the term postpartum depression. That is just one of many illnesses that could affect a pregnant or newly postpartum mother.
Perinatal Mood Disorders can start long before giving birth. Sometimes woman who are pregnant can begin to experience depression, anxiety, OCD and bi-polar disorder.
Perinatal Mood Disorders may also begin after giving birth. From being a brand new mom to a mother of a one year old. At any point, a mother could begin to feel overwhelming feelings of depression, anxiety, OCD, bi-polar, even psychosis.
If you know 7 women, then you know someone who had or is experiencing a perinatal mood disorder.
What’s most unfortunate about this, is that too many of these women are afraid to talk about what they are experiencing. Too many of these women are afraid to ask for help. Only 15% of the 1 million women experiencing a perinatal mood disorder seek help. But why is there so much fear surrounding this?
Part of the fear comes from the stigma that is attached to mental illnesses. There is a fear that mother’s will be denied their right to be a mother if they admitted to these illnesses. There is fear of being judged, of being shamed.
Postpartum Progress is founded by Katherine Stone, a mother who also experienced a perinatal mood disorder. Katherine is not alone though. She has an “army” of hundreds of “warrior moms” who are on the forefront of this mission to reduce the stigma and create better and more plentiful resources for struggling mothers.
A “warrior mom” is a mother who was/is challenged with a perinatal mood disorder. A “warrior mom” is not ashamed of her struggles. She has lived to see another day. She is a surviver!
One of the great things Postpartum Progress has created is a fundraiser called Climb Out Of The Darkness. Climb Out Of The Darkness is the largest fundraiser in support of Maternal Mental Health illnesses. The event is held on June 18th, the longest day of the year, to shine the most light on Maternal Mental Health. In 2015 there were 115 Climb Out teams all across the US and 5 other countries. Together, 2,500 participants raised $230,000 to benefit the work that Postpartum Progress is doing. Where does all this money go? Click here to learn more.
In the Keystone State, we are hosting our own Climb Out. There are several options for participating.
- Simply donate $5, $20, $100 (any amount is acceptable) to our local virtual Climb Out.
- Join our team, get your own unique link, and spread the word and collect virtual donations.
- Join the physical event on June 18th at 10:00am at Lancaster County Central Park, Pavilion #11. Donations are not required to join the physical event.
- Join our local Climb’s facebook event page.
- Join our LuLaRoe fundraiser. 15% of purchases will be donated to our Climb Out, and LLR will match that donation.
- Join us on Saturday May 21st at Isaac’s, Downtown Lancaster, between 5:00pm-9:00pm for a meal. A portion of your meal will be donated to Postpartum Progress.
Basically, the more team members we have joining us, the greater the reach will be in educating our community about this important topic. The more educated folks are, the greater the success at reducing stigma and helping mother’s who are struggling. We can literally save lives!
If this is a topic that is near and dear to your heart, please do yourself and other mothers the honor of sharing this post. Do your small part in creating positive change for families who have yet to find help or experience the struggles of a perinatal mood disorder.