Thank you for taking this month, day by day, with me to learn about and support Maternal Mental Health.
Some final thoughts and reminders. In my opinion, maternal mental health would be better termed maternal emotional health. Of course mental and emotional are closely linked and rarely separable but, all too often we fall into the trap of believing that one’s thoughts are in control of our feelings. With women suffering during pregnancy or during postpartum/motherhood, their emotions are the engine of the roller coaster they are on, their emotions are doing the steering, their emotions are overpowering their thoughts. The thoughts are only the brakes. They may be able to logically reason that their feelings are not rational in the situation but their “brakes” can only slow things down so much for so long. Much of the work I do with women who are suffering PMADs or who are simply struggling in life, is done in part by addressing the emotional crisis they are feeling at the moment…addressing their symptoms, problem solving together and giving them tools for managing their emotions in the moment…and in part by addressing their overall life circumstances that may be contributing more broadly to their depression, anxiety or unhappiness.
Remember….a mom is a mom whether it’s her first baby or her eighth. PMADs can strike at any time. A mother having positive and healthy mental health will set the stage for her children’s upbringing and mental health to also be positive. If you see a mom struggling, reach out to her (literally or figuratively). Even if you don’t know what to say, a gesture, smile, or just being there can be supportive. We can all do a little more for the moms in our lives!
Although I won’t be blogging daily after today (it really is taxing to keep up with it!), please look for occasional blog posts, tips, and posting about events coming up or those that I have attended. 🙂