One of my favorite moments from our motherhood circle this week was when one mom shared: "my 50mg zoloft prescription is a lifesaver!" Last week in our Mamas Circle more women shared their experiences with taking medication for depression and anxiety - both before becoming parents and postpartum (and beyond!).
I love how deeply you all share and how your stories empower others to get the support they need. I wanted to share a few resources this week in case you are seeking (or interested in looking for) more mental health support.
Here are a few evidence-based practices to try:
Social support & Education groups:
Postpartum Support International, which offers incredible resources during the whole perinatal period, issued a statement on social support:
"Social support is essential to assure the mental health of women, children, and their families during pregnancy and the postpartum period."
Join a support group (like a mamas circle or motherhood circle), meet up with other moms in your community, or text a friend. Parenting classes can be another helpful way to improve your knowledge and build that social support as well.
Psychotherapy can be a wonderful resource. If you are in the DMV check out this list of providers trained in women's mental health - some of who accept insurance. They use different modalities so it can be helpful to hear about the therapists' approach to see if it will be a good fit for you.
Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and other support therapies can also be extremely helpful for helping to heal physical and emotional trauma and bring us back into our bodies.
There are a wide variety of medications that can be used to treat mental illness and many are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding parents.
When considering taking medication, it can be helpful to consider what exposure is the baby getting - medication vs. maternal depression or maternal anxiety. We tend to focus on the exposure of medication but Dr. Raja, a reproductive psychiatrist in Bethesda, MD said if very clearly, “the impact of untreated depression and anxiety can be worse for baby than med side effects.”
Have any of these interventions worked for you? What other steps have you taken to support your mental health?
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.