Moms and Dads

Why A Mom’s Mental Health Matters

Depression and anxiety can happen anytime during your pregnancy or after giving birth. Learn the signs and how you can get help because a mom’s mental health will always matter.

“I felt like I was supposed to be happy because I had a new baby. But I was putting on a happy face for everyone else.” “I wasn’t myself for a long time. And I wanted to feel like myself again.” “I feel like I’m not allowed to take a break from my baby.” These may all sound too familiar for many of us mothers. And because we’re so used to putting everyone else first instead of ourselves, we end up feeling resentful, overwhelmed, and exhausted. This is why a mom’s mental health should always matter.

Did you know that 1 in 8 women experience depression after having a baby?

Many researchers believe that depression is one of the most common mental health problems that women experience during and after pregnancy. In fact, according to a survey, about 1 in 8 women experience postpartum depression after having a baby. Anxiety during and after pregnancy is just as common. And it may happen at the same time as depression.

What are the symptoms?

Many women have shared that they feel extremely sad or angry without warning or that they have trouble completing tasks. Moreover, they feel robotic—as if they’re just going through the motions. Some feel very anxious around their baby and other children while some experience mom guilt and believe they are failing at motherhood. Then, there are those who get unusually irritable or angry or have little interest in the things they used to enjoy. Lastly, a few women have shared that they had scary and upsetting thoughts that don’t seem to go away.

Treatments for depression and anxiety

Some women find it helpful to talk about their concerns or feelings with a mental health provider. They can help find ways to manage your feelings as well as to make changes in your lifestyle and way of thinking to help ease depression or anxiety. Additionally, there are many organizations that offer counseling and psychiatric consultations. There’s Kindred, which is a healthcare provider that focuses on women. There’s also the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services, which offers free psychiatric consultation and a brief psychological service. Lastly, there’s BetterHelp, which offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists.

Apart from therapy, there are several medications available that can treat depression and anxiety effectively and are safe for pregnant women and for breastfeeding moms. Don’t be shy to speak with a health care provider about medications that may be right for you!

mom's mental health

Moms support moms

In addition to these treatments, many moms find it helpful to connect with other moms. This is why it’s important to have a support group that knows and understands what you are going through. And though it’s easier said than done, take some time for yourself. Perhaps you can have someone watch the baby for a while so you can get a massage, do something you enjoy, and simply visit a friend to talk to.

It also helps to be realistic. You don’t have to carry all the load and do everything nor do you have to be the perfect wife and mother with a perfect home. Just do what you can and leave the rest. When things get too much, know that you can ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends—whether it’s caring for the baby or doing some household chores.

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Your feelings are valid!

You may feel like you’re the only person in the world who feels depressed and anxious during pregnancy or after your baby is born, but you are not alone.

Read more stories on moms and mental health:

7 Ways Partners Can Support Moms with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

My Experience with Baby Blues: 6 Tips That Helped Me Overcome Them

7 Celebrity Moms Who Opened Up About Their Mental Health

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