In what I think is a very smart move, Postpartum Support International has declared May National Maternal Depression Awareness Month. Who needs presidential proclamations or anybody else's permission, right? We deserve a month!
From their press release:
“On the heels of this Mother’s Day, and in an effort to broaden awareness among women, their families and health care providers, Postpartum Support International is declaring May National Maternal Depression Awareness Month, specifically asking women and their families to encourage concerned mothers to ‘Speak Up When You’re Down’. Momentum has been building across the country as more and more states, including California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington have implemented critical educational campaigns and treatment programs to increase awareness and reduce stigma associated with Perinatal Depression,” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, president, Postpartum Support International.
Dr. Puryear continued, “My hope is that by declaring it National Maternal Depression Awareness Month, we will see more women and their families across the country having the courage to speak up and ask questions about risk factors and triggers, and receive the care they may need during the most transformative period of their lives.”
Untreated depression is the number one complication of pregnancy and yet research shows that many new mothers are not asked about feeling depressed or anxious during their pregnancy by a health care provider. When a woman is able to become adequately informed, screened or treated for maternal depression, not only is her individual suffering alleviated but the chances for positive outcomes for her baby, and entire family is greatly improved.