Consider others and their experience with an open mind.
Keep love and kindness at the heart of your messages.
Make an effort to embrace mental health conversations.
Learn how to improve your overall health.
The Dose of Wellness campaign bridges the often-overlooked connection between physical and mental health.
Learn to Recognize Maternal Depression
Maternal depression encompasses a range of emotions experienced by pregnant and postpartum women as they plan for and welcome a new baby. Many women encounter what is commonly referred to as the “baby blues” postpartum (after they give birth). During childbirth, perinatal mood disorders (PMD) are the most frequently occurring complications and often begin during pregnancy.
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Depression Screening Tool
In addressing maternal depression, it is important for communities to consider a mother’s unique circumstances and work on removing the barriers that impact her well-being and get in the way of seeking necessary help. Barriers to healthcare, such as lack of insurance, mental illness stigma, lack of diversity or cultural competency among mental health care providers, or language barriers, greatly affect members of diverse ethnic/racial groups. As a result, certain minority groups are at higher risk for maternal depression, including adolescent women of Latina descent and immigrant populations.
In New Mexico, women who experienced postpartum depression were three times more likely to have six or more stressors during the 12 months before their baby was born than women without postpartum depression, including:
- Partner stress (e.g., divorce)
- Financial stress (e.g., lost job)
- Traumatic stress (e.g., close person had drug or alcohol problem)
- Emotional stress (e.g., close family member was very sick).
According to the National Institutes of Health, without proper care and support, some pregnant and postpartum mothers can face one or more of the following symptoms:
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, isolation, and/or inadequacy that do not resolve
- Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
- Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
- Worrying or feeling overly anxious
- Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
- Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when baby is asleep
- Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Experiencing anger or rage
- Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
- Suffering from physical aches and pains, including frequent headaches, stomach problems, and muscle pain
- Eating too little or too much
- Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
- Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with one’s baby
- Persistently doubting one’s ability to care for one’s baby
- Thinking about harming oneself or one’s baby
If you or a loved one are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is important to get help. All mothers, fathers, and families deserve support during pregnancy and parenthood. The New Mexico Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) actively supports maternal health treatment through providers. Maternal depression is a treatable condition, with full recovery possible with the right assistance.