Maternal Mental Health Week 2021

It’s Maternal Mental Health Week in the midst of Mental Health Awareness Month. Maternal Mental Health Week runs from May 3rd-May 9th. Yesterday, May 5th, was World Maternal Health Day. There’s a lot of good stuff going on to bring awareness to mental health and I am loving all of it. I hope others share their stories and bring awareness. I openly share a lot about my journey with mental health in my book, “In the Middle of a Pandemic: A Pregnancy Journey”, raw and unfiltered in hopes that many women will find that they are not alone in their journey.

My little one will be 6 months tomorrow and though being her mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I am still struggling with a combination of postpartum depression and anxiety coupled with lots of other life factors. Hormones are a motherf#$%. I described my experience with postpartum as a spirtual attack. It feels like a hex, some bad juju was placed on me. Anything is triggering for me. I mean anything. I tried to coax the feeling with tea and cuddles with my baby but it wasn’t doing anything for me. Self care goes beyond bubble baths and lathering yourself in oils. I needed help. It’s something that should not be taken lightly. Yes, other women have told me about postpartum depression but they failed to tell me the severity of it. I love my baby soo much and it’s because of the love that I have for her that I opted to start seeing a therapist, twice a week to help me get through this feeling. The sessions are healing. They are so worth it.

New moms should be treated beyond the six-week checkup. We had constant visits leading up to the birth of our child but we are discarded after having the child. We are given a depression screening questionnaire during the six-week checkup appointment, but that’s about it. What happens to us after?

In the Middle of a Pandemic: A Pregnancy Journey -Nacia Jackson

If you are pregnant and experiencing depressive symptoms, I recommend you tell your healthcare provider. Please don’t be ashamed. Society looks at mental health as something that should be shunned, especially within the black community. I’m currently reading, “The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health” by Rheeda Walker, PHD and she talks about this in her book.

Instead of paying attention to your feelings of anxiety or depression, or the signs of distress, you press forward. You remind yourself that Black people persevere. Even in the midst of society of racial terrorism, you continue on– using your ancestral gift

The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health” by Rheeda Walker, PHD

It’s okay if you cannot push through your postpartum depression like other women in your family have. You are not them. Please don’t push your mental health to the side. If you are going through post-partum depression, please speak to your healthcare provider, seek professional help. If you can not afford these things, connect with other women online. There are so many online resources for women these days and I am still educating myself. In addition to seeing a therapist, I connected to different mom groups on Facebook. Surround yourself with people that support you and your mental health journey. You’d be surprised to see that there are sooo many other women going through the same thing. You are not alone in your journey. Discovering this brought me so much peace. It is okay to reach out for support. It not only takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to be the awesome mama bear to. Please take care of you mama. I know that this may sound completely cliche but you can not pour from an empty cup. You got this mama. Take care of you.

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