In light of the horrific and tragic events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, Giving Birth with Confidence will be dedicating our posts this week to providing resources relating to mental health and wellness. Approximately 1.3 million women annually suffer from mental health disorders that occur during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. Perinatal and postpartum anxiety and mood disorders far outweigh the annual occurrence of several other major diseases combined. The key to finding help and treating mental health disorders is awareness; the more people who know how to spot warning signs and what to do to find help, the greater our possibility for better health.
Postpartum Progress (www.postpartumprogress.com), the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum depression, hosts a service to help pregnant and new mothers get through the difficulty of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Daily Hope is the nation's first support service featuring once-daily e-mails to mothers with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and antenatal depression or anxiety. This free service provides encouragement from survivors, the country's top perinatal mental health specialists and authors of the leading books on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and parenting.
Many of the nearly one million women who suffer each year do not have access to perinatal mental health specialists or PPD support groups where they live. I hear from thousands of mothers across the country and around the world who say that having someone to lean on who deeply understands can contribute a great deal to their recovery process, said Katherine Stone, founder of Postpartum Progress and survivor of postpartum OCD. I felt Daily Hope would be a great way to use technology to offer mothers encouragement from the nation's most trusted experts on their illnesses, regardless of where they live or what type of health insurance they have. The more support we can provide to women with postpartum depression, the better, because the quicker the recovery, the less likely the illness will have a long-term impact on mom and baby.
Contributors to Daily Hope include, among many:
- Karen Kleiman, MSW, author of This Isn't What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression
- Ann Dunnewold, PhD, author of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide and Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box
- Marlene Freeman, MD, MGH Center for Women's Mental Health and Harvard University
- Pamela Weigartz, author of The Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook
- Susan Stone, LCSW, former president of Postpartum Support International
- Janice Croze, co-founder of 5MinutesforMom.com and survivor of PPD
- Aunt Becky, author of the blog Mommy Wants Vodka, founder of Band Back Together and survivor of antenatal depression
- Adrienne Griffen, founder of Postpartum Support Virginia
Postpartum Progress, founded in 2004, provides the most comprehensive, in-depth and accessible information available on perinatal mental illness for pregnant women and new mothers. Having already helped more than 350,000 women and healthcare providers, Postpartum Progress offers an unflinching look at getting through postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, postpartum psychosis, and antenatal depression & anxiety. Postpartum Progress has been named one of the top 10 depression blogs on the web by Psych Central, the winner of Fit Pregnancy's Best of the Web Awards in the Advice category, and was a runner-up in Parenting's Must-Read Moms and Scholastic Parent & Child's Best Parenting Blogs Awards. It has been featured on Babble, ParentDish, Café Mom, Health.com and many other parenting websites. Postpartum Progress was founded by Katherine Stone, who was named a WebMD Health Hero in 2008 and won the Bloganthropy Award in 2010 for her advocacy work for pregnant and new mothers with maternal mental illness.
Postpartum Progress the blog and Daily Hope are both offered by Postpartum Progress Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to vastly improving the amount of services and support available to women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.