Johnson Behavioral Health Group
World Maternal Mental Health Day: Raising Awareness and Breaking the Stigma
On the 3rd of May, 2023, we celebrate World Maternal Mental Health Day, an annual event honoring women’s mental health during and after pregnancy. It is a day held every first Wednesday of May to raise awareness about the mental health challenges many women face during this period, such as depression, anxiety, postpartum psychosis, and postpartum depression.
The goal of this day is to reduce the stigma surrounding these issues and encourage more women to seek help if they face any mental health difficulties. It is a day to recognize the importance of maternal mental health and to support mothers struggling with their mental well-being.
Maternal mental health disorders are a global public health issue affecting women of all cultures, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. It is estimated that one in five women experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, which include depression, anxiety, postpartum psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These disorders can have a significant impact on a woman’s well-being, as well as her ability to care for and bond with her child. They can also affect the entire family, including the partner and other children.
Bearing this in mind, we came up with a list of valuable strategies for everyone to be part of this remarkable cause to support every exceptional woman and mother out there!
5 Ways to Support World Maternal Mental Health Day and Promote Women’s Mental Well-Being
It is time to bring awareness to the issue of maternal mental health, support mothers, and promote women’s mental well-being. For caregivers, let’s take a look at the following steps that can help you support expectant and new mothers:
Share information about maternal mental health: One of the best ways to support World Maternal Mental Health Day is to share information about maternal mental health with your family, friends, and community, especially those needing it. You can use social media, blogs, or other channels to raise awareness about women’s challenges, the signs and symptoms of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and the importance of seeking help.
Listen to women’s experiences: To truly understand the challenges women face, it is essential to listen to their experiences. This means creating a safe and supportive space for women to share their stories without judgment or criticism. Listening can help reduce stigma and increase awareness about the importance of mental health support for new mothers.
Support mental health services for new mothers: Access to mental health services is critical for women experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. You can support this cause by advocating for policies and programs prioritizing maternal mental health and increasing access to evidence-based treatment options. You can also donate to organizations that provide mental health support for new mothers.
Provide practical support: Practical support can be invaluable for new mothers struggling with mental health challenges. This might include offering to babysit or help with household chores, providing meals, or simply being there to listen and offer emotional support.
Practice self-care: As a caregiver, it is important to prioritize your own mental health and well-being. This means practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and seeking help if you are experiencing mental health challenges.
5 Strategies for Managing Stress During Pregnancy
For expectant and new mothers, pregnancy can be a time of great joy but also a time of heightened stress. Managing stress during pregnancy can be challenging, but it is important for you and your baby’s well-being. By practicing these strategies, you can reduce stress and enjoy a healthier pregnancy:
Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you!
Stay active: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Talk to your healthcare provider about safe exercise options during pregnancy, such as prenatal yoga or walking.
Build a support system: A strong support system can be critical during pregnancy. Talk to your partner, family, and friends about your feelings and concerns. You may also consider joining a pregnancy support group!
Focus on the positive: It can be easy to get caught up in worries about the future, but focusing on the positive can help reduce anxiety. List things you look forward to about parenthood, or visualize a positive birth experience!
Seek professional help: If your stress and anxiety interfere with your daily life, it may be time to seek professional help. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns, or consider seeing a therapist specializing in perinatal mental health.
3 Physical Activities That Can Help Boost Your Mood When You’re Expecting
Pregnancy is an exciting and transformative time but it can also be challenging and stressful. For pregnant women, physical activity can greatly boost your mood and overall well-being during pregnancy. Here are three physical activities that can help:
Prenatal yoga: Prenatal yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is specifically designed for pregnant women. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and strengthen the body in preparation for childbirth. Prenatal yoga classes are often offered at yoga studios or through community centers.
Walking: Walking is a simple and effective way to exercise during pregnancy. It can help improve circulation, reduce stress, and boost your mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily, or break it into shorter daily sessions.
Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be an excellent option for pregnant women. It can help reduce swelling, relieve back pain, and provide a sense of weightlessness that can be especially beneficial in the later stages of pregnancy. This is your sign to look for a local pool or aquatic center that offers prenatal swimming classes!
Remember to always check with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program during pregnancy. They can guide what types of physical activity are safe and appropriate for your needs and circumstances. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can help boost your mood and improve your overall well-being during this special time in your life.
Today, we can come together to show solidarity and support for mothers facing these difficulties. We can also use this opportunity to educate people on how they can help new mothers, such as providing emotional support, access to resources, and more. Let’s all take part in this day and do our part in helping these amazing women!