Perinatal Mental Health
What is Maternal or Perinatal Mental Health?
Maternal and/or Perinatal Mental Health refers to a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Many experiences and feelings occur during this time that can feel overwhelming. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
Did you experience a birth that you identify as having been traumatic? Whether this was from the experience of a previous birth or you may be a survivor of a previous trauma. The perinatal period could feel like a re-traumatizing experience. One of the most “beautiful” milestones of your life can carry a complex meaning based on your experience.
Loss related to miscarriage, loss in utero, stillbirth, sudden and/or Neonatal death. Often it is inexplicable to put words to this type of loss. A being you already love but have not met and are now unexpectedly left to grieve them. Shock, disbelief, and an array of symptoms can overwhelm you from this experience. I am here to help.
Did you experience giving birth to a baby that had to be rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) without even being able to hold them? Perhaps your infant was born premature and had to remain in the NICU for an extended period of time. Feelings of overwhelm or disbelief may occur in having to leave the hospital without your baby after giving birth. The NICU can feel like a scary place at first. Such an array of emotions can be experienced through this journey. Know that you are not alone and that I am here to support you.
Perinatal Mental Health for Women of Color
38% of new mothers of color experience perinatal emotional complications like depression and anxiety. Women of color experience these complications at TWICE the rate of white women.
60% of women of color do not receive any treatment or support services for perinatal mental health during their pregnancy and postpartum. Reasons for this include lack of culturally appropriate care, social and cultural stigma and logistical barriers to services.