This Sunday is Mother’s Day, one of my favorite days of the year. But not all mothers feel this way. Not all mothers see it as a day of celebration. For some, it’s a day filled with heartache.
The 3rd annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health will be held online this Sunday, May 8th and will feature open letters to pregnant and new mothers on the importance of maternal mental health.
Hosted at the non-profit website Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog on postpartum depression (PPD) and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth, Sunday’s rally will feature 24 letters written by survivors of and experts on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, and others who care about the emotional well-being of moms and moms-to-be.
Katherine Stone, founder of Postpartum Progress, dreamed up the Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health as something special she could do for Mother’s Day around the topic of PPD.
Nearly 1 million women each year suffer from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in the US alone. In fact, though PPD is the most common complication of childbirth, only 15% of women receive treatment.
Stone explains that many of these women are “worried about their ability to be good mothers. They may be feeling guilty and ashamed about their illness, and not much like celebrating. I wanted to create an event in which we could virtually put our arms around them and tell them everything will be okay. With help they will get better.”
Stone is grateful to those women who are willing to share their experiences with postpartum depression and anxiety, and antenatal depression and anxiety, and who are willing to devote time on Sunday for the Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health.
She explains that these brave women are the ones who make the rally so valuable, since it is their willingness to be open and honest about their stories, what happened to them, how they felt and how they recovered, that serves as inspiration to those women who are still fighting their way through.
So, how can you participate in the Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health?
Stone points out that one great way to get involved is to comment on the letters. She explains “for some of the participants in the rally, this is the first time they have ever written so openly about their illness. The act of writing it all down can be scary and painful, so it is very important to me to give them support and thank them for being part of this.”
Another great way to participate in the rally is to share your own stories, if you are in a place where you feel safe to do that, either on their own blogs or sites or with Postpartum Progress.
One of the most important ways you can help is to share the link to Postpartum Progress with any mom you know who needs help and let her know there is a group of women that would love to provide her with the support she deserves.
For a brief explanation of PPD and its warning signs, please read The Least You Need to Know About PPD, BEFORE You Have Your Baby.