The 2020 MOM Project Helps More Mothers Find Treatment For Postpartum Depression And Other Maternal Mental Health Disorders

The 2020 Mom Project to help more mothers find treatment for postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders

The 2020 Mom Project launches on-line course in maternal mental health to help more mothers find treatment for postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders

LOS ANGELES, August 13, 2013 – Nearly three weeks after the birth of Prince George, the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (www.CaMaternalMentalHealth.org) and Postpartum Support International (www.Postpartum.net) remind new families that many moms will experience postpartum distress. If symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, many will need the help of an experienced maternal mental health specialist.

How is Kate Middleton doing?

On the outside, Kate Middleton is “glowing,” with the joy and happiness that many assume all new mothers experience. Yet, since many mothers suffer in silence, you can’t assume that Kate is doing fine. Up to 80% of new mothers experience the “baby blues.”  The blues is defined as mild mood swings, brief bouts of crying, and worry. They typically start in the first few days following birth, and dissipate without treatment in a few weeks. 

Baby blues vs. Postpartum Depression

People often confuse the milder baby blues with postpartum depression (PPD) because the symptoms can be the same.  However, those who experience symptoms of the blues or other distress for more than two or three weeks are likely experiencing depression or anxiety. These women would benefit from specialized professional support.  According to the World Health Organization postpartum depression is the most common complication of pregnancy.1

“Mothers who are suffering from depression or anxiety are often confused by what they are feeling, as they are exhausted, adjusting to life with a new baby, healing and experiencing dramatic changes in hormones,” said Wendy Davis, Executive Director of Postpartum Support International (PSI). “To make matters worse, many families are not informed of the signs and symptoms of the blues or other more serious forms of maternal distress, so it’s easy to get confused and chalk these feelings up to the adjustment of new motherhood. Most mothers don’t seek help until symptoms have become more severe and they have extreme difficulty coping with daily life.”

 

Princess Diana and Dads

Those with a personal history of depression/mood concerns, or depression in their family of origin are more likely to experience difficulty. In a 1995 interview conducted by the BBC, Princess Diana revealed that she suffered from postpartum depression after Prince William was born.  “We want families to know that while we most often talk about postpartum distress among mothers, fathers can also experience distress during this time, including depression and anxiety and a worsening of any pre-existing mental health trouble,” said Pec Indman, co-author of “Beyond the Blues” and representative of PSI and the Collaborative. Poor sleep, increased financial responsibility, household stress, and having a partner with a mood or anxiety disorder can contribute to poor mental health in dads.  Studies have shown about 10% of fathers experience moderate to severe depression (Paulson, 2010). While no one knows if Prince William is struggling, families need to know dads can suffer too and that they also should seek help. 

More Experts are Needed

“Though we urge new families to speak up and seek help, often if they do, they find their doctor or other health care professionals though well intended don’t seem to acknowledge or understand what they are feeling,” said Joy Burkhard, Founder and Director of the CA Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and the 2020 Mom Project. “We must change that dynamic.”  It’s through the 2020 Mom Project, a national campaign to improve awareness and availability of support for maternal mental health disorders, that the Collaborative and PSI are launching a new online course for mental health and other medical professionals through the 2020 Mom Project, so that more professionals can be trained and provide the support mothers so desperately need.

For more information visit http://www.2020momproject.com/mental_health_professional_training2

1 http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/mmh&chd_chapter_1.pdf

About the 2020 Mom Project and the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative

The 2020 Mom Project is a national campaign of the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (“The Collaborative”). The Collaborative is a non-profit organization and formed at the urging of the California legislature through Assembly Concurrent Resolution 105, in 2011. The Collaborative is volunteer run and brings together private and public stakeholders including medical and mental health professionals, educators, community advocates and individuals who have experienced these disorders to raise awareness of maternal mental health disorders and provide a platform for change so suffering families can receive the help they need.

About Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression. Postpartum Support International works to educate and support family, friends and healthcare providers so that pregnant and postpartum women and their families get the support they need to recover.

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Organization Contact

Joy Burkhard

626-390-4173

Joy@2020MomProject.com

-or-

Wendy Davis

503-246-0941

wdavis@postpartum.net


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