When I was pregnant, I had lofty goals about exclusively breastfeeding. I was prepared for it to be difficult, but I had imagined that difficulty would mostly just be sore nipples. I wasn’t prepared to struggle with baby’s poor latch and low supply. I had also planned on cloth diapering, and let’s just say it’s […]
I’m happy not to be a cavewoman, for a variety of reasons. But right now, I’m particularly happy not to be a cavewoman or any woman without access to a sympathetic medical community, because postpartum depression has been kicking my butt. I’ve heard the arguments that PPD, or perinatal mood disorder, is just a modern-day […]
Every day at Parenting Now! and Relief Nursery, we are rewarded by the success of a parent who nurtures and protects their child instead harming or putting them at risk, overcomes an obstacle, or makes a better decision when feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. But there is still much work to be done. April is Child […]
Before my 6-week-old son, Jasper, was even conceived, he was already teaching me one of the most valuable lessons of my life so far. It took my husband and me nearly three years to finally welcome our first child, and it wasn’t until two years into that process that I received the insight I needed […]
When you become pregnant, you immediately surrender your personal autonomy to some degree. My body’s primary purpose at the moment is to nurture and protect my baby, without ceasing, until I deliver. And that’s okay! Most of the time, the things that are best for baby, like a nutritious diet and regular exercise, are also […]
Start a conversation. “Did you suffer from postpartum depression? Or know someone who did?” Break the silence. Talk about it. Reach out to new parents, share your experiences and let them know they are not alone. By starting the conversation, you will also reach a new level of healing.
Volunteer. We are fortunate to live in a community with access to resources for new parents, particularly those struggling with prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety. In Lane County, we have WellMama, a nonprofit organization offering free support services. WellMama, and other organizations like it, can only thrive with help from volunteers. Even if you have just five minutes to give this month, you can post flyers, write a thank-you card to a donor or participate in a focus group.
Donate. Funding for maternal mental health services is scarce and inadequate. Nonprofit organizations rely on donations to sustain basic services that support men and women in our community.
Join us. Participate in community events throughout the year to raise awareness about maternal mental health.
If parents are not proactive in addressing their own stress, they might unknowingly overlook the signs and symptoms of stress in their children. There is a danger in this, as young people are then left unsupported in identifying stress, and without the necessary tools and resources to manage it in a world where stress is escalating.
How do we begin? First, by defining the problem to be outside, separate from ourselves. An example might be, “We need to find a better way to deal with the laundry” (a situation) rather than, “You never help with the laundry” (which makes your partner the problem).
Another important piece of the fearless problem-solving process is for each person to say what each wants in regard to the situation, rather than what’s wrong about it. For some of us, saying what we want is more unfamiliar and challenging than to say what’s wrong. However, an essential part of defining the problem is listening to and exploring what each wants and how close or far apart the wants are.