According to Postpartum Support International (PSI), “many parents experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, [and] 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety.”
Even with an excellent support system, a new mother can struggle with the transition into parenthood.
During pregnancy, a mother's and baby’s health are a priority. After childbirth, the focus is more on the baby, while the mom’s health and well-being might be overlooked.
With all the new responsibilities and attention on the baby, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and take care of yourself.
Mothers aren’t meant to do it all — or alone.
We must prioritize our well-being. We can do this by asking for help, intentionally making time for ourselves, and setting boundaries so we only take on what we can handle.
Thinking about and preparing for the fourth trimester and beyond helps mothers and their partners be ready for the big life change — while making the experience less overwhelming when it’s happening.
With that said, it’s a good idea for families to prepare for the postpartum period during pregnancy.
Being a new parent means facing a job you’ve never done before. And the challenges and responsibilities of being a parent can take a toll on our mental health.
Even if you don’t have a predisposing factor for mental health conditions, such as a family history of mental health disorders, a strong support system and access to maternal mental health resources are essential.
Preparing for the postpartum period starts with prevention and planning. And that means starting the conversation around mental health, particularly maternal mental health, as early as possible.
Parenting is not a solo journey.
Whether you have help from a partner, friends, or community, raising children takes a village.
You are not alone.
Postpartum depression and anxiety can happen during pregnancy or up to a year after the birth of a child.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to prepare early, build your support system, and be aware of the signs of postpartum depression and anxiety.
Joining local or online groups and sharing experiences can help new moms navigate motherhood’s unexpected twists and turns more easily.
Free resources for postpartum depression and other maternal mental health conditions
2. Postpartum Support International - PSI: A global initiative providing online support groups, a hotline, resources, and the latest news on maternal mental health.
3. Mental Health America: A community-based nonprofit that addresses maternal mental health through advocacy, education, research, and support services.
5. Parents Helping Parents: Free and confidential virtual parent support groups where members share experiences about parenting, no matter where they are on their journey.
6. 4th Trimester Project: An online village and support group offering expert-written resources and information for families.
7. Mission: Motherhood Facebook Group: A free online group to support mothers who have experienced or are experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD. Mothers at any stage of pregnancy or motherhood are welcome.
In addition to these online community resources for postpartum depression, there are small steps you can take now to adjust to the journey of motherhood.
Talk to family and friends that have children. Ask how they prepared for having a baby.
What were their biggest challenges as new parents? And how did they overcome them?
Express your feelings and concerns early on so you’re ready when the inevitable challenges of parenting arise.
You can also check for local events and meetups through Facebook or Meetup.com.
If you believe you’re experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, or another mental health condition, start by talking about it.
Share your feelings and your experience with loved ones. The world wants you to thrive.
Remember, we all rise together with Reverence, Awareness, Inclusion, and Support.
Join the community of 500+ mothers in Mission: Motherhood’s FREE Facebook group for the most current in-person and online resources.
We look forward to welcoming you and supporting your journey!