Postpartum Progress Hosts Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health

mothers-day-rally1On Sunday, May 11th, we’ll be celebrating our 6th annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health here at Postpartum Progress. That day we’ll feature 24 letters to new moms, one posted each hour on the hour, from great writers who’ve been there. They know how it feels. 

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Give Thanks Everyday

There have been certain times in my life that were more challenging than others. Challenges not only make you stronger, but they force you to get out of your normal and comfortable routine. Without challenges in our lives there is no room for growth or opportunity for gratitude.

My experience with postpartum depression was negative and frightening, but I am thankful that it created the stronger, better, mom and person I am now. I am thankful that my experience led me to help other moms struggling with the same feelings and let them know that they are not alone. I am thankful to have met so many wonderful people on my life’s journey.

Think about people you have met in your lifetime, the influence that each and every one of them has had on your life. Let someone know that you appreciate them. Thank someone for their time or kind gesture. Think about things you are you thankful for: a pet, flowers in your garden, the opportunity to travel. Giving thanks is a powerful positive message that can become part of your daily routine and improve your life. I didn’t learn to give thanks; it was something I created within myself. There are many benefits to giving thanks. Express gratitude today and always.

Linda Meyer is the Executive Director of Mother to Mother in St. Louis, MO. Mother to Mother provides free telephone support, group support and resources to women experiencing emotional difficulties during pregnancy and postpartum.

One Hero’s Journey-Part 1

Recently, I wrote about having attended the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative’s conference on perinatal mood disorders. A few weeks later, I am still carrying in my heart everything I felt that day, which ranged from nervous anticipation to love, respect, encouragement, and support.

I drove to the conference in the pouring rain, excited to be in the same room with Katherine Stone, Diane Sanford, and my therapist, Michelle. Those three women helped me so much when I had postpartum depression and anxiety for nearly 2 years. I credit Katherine and Diane with giving me the courage and strength to seek help in the first place, and I credit Michelle with providing me the exact compassionate care I needed but almost didn’t reach out for.

But you know who else I credit? All of the women I’ve come to know online who are creating with me a village just by opening up and talking about what we’ve gone through (or are still going through). This journey isn’t easy, and if you’re reading this, you surely know that already. It is long and grueling and, at first, so very lonely. But you aren’t alone. You have a village. You just need directions to it. And websites like this one provide a map.

Today’s guest author is Jamie of One of the true heroes who’s building a village of support for PPD moms through her courage and honesty.

For info about PPD, listen to the Sept.9 podcast @mamasonbedrest with Diane Sanford.

Part 2:

It Takes a Village. Spread the Word!

Last week I spoke in New Jersey about the importance of self-care during pregnancy and post-birth, but my conference highlight was visiting with three moms who’ve survived postpartum depression/anxiety/OCD who are trained to support other women going through it. There was a fourth mom there who offers support online but didn’t know any moms locally and these three embraced her like they would each other.

It reminded me again that we must be the ones to lead the charge to dispel society’s myths about motherhood and to ensure that all moms, whatever point of motherhood they’re at,  get the emotional health care they deserve. We must challenge our own biases about anxiety and depression, and accept them as “health conditions” just like heart disease or diabetes. We must accept that self-care is self-preserving and that women who make their emotional health a priority have more not less to give. As Laura Nash said beautifully, “You can’t give away what you don’t have.”

So, we’ve decided to declare November “Self-Care Month” with the self-care contest/challenge running from Nov.14-18. We think this is the time when women need to be most reminded to keep their emotional pitchers full with all  the season’s demands. Please get your friends, co-workers, moms, daughters, neighbors and all your female peeps to join us for fun and great giveaways.

Also special thanks to my friend Susan Ellis Murphy who mentors the SNJPC support moms and works tirelessly to ensure the health of SNJ moms.

When Self-Care is Not Enough; Ask for Help

It has taken many years to learn how to take care of me; always putting other’s first while I drained the energy out of myself. Learning self-care began while battling postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety 21 years ago.

PPD was out of my control, but I could seek help from others.  This was very difficult for someone who had never done it before. I gave my family and friends specific direction on how they could help me; i.e. I need an hour to myself, time to go for a walk, sit and talk with me, etc. On many occasions, I asked family and friends to watch my daughter while I attended doctor visits and counseling sessions.

Doctor visits were necessary and counseling sessions were invaluable; I learned tips on relieving anxiety and that my needs were important. I attended support groups for women with PPD.  I limited my conversations to those that were good listeners and supportive.  I stayed away from anxiety provoking situations.

I have learned that while self-care is important, sometimes you may need an extension of self-care. That’s when professional healthcare, professional counseling and support from others can help you to heal.

Linda Meyer is the Executive Director of Mother to Mother in St. Louis, MO.  Mother to Mother provides free telephone support, group support and resources to women experiencing emotional difficulties during pregnancy and postpartum.

Mother to Mother will be participating in the St. Louis Walk for Mental Health on Saturday, August 20

Beyond Self-Care: Hope for Postpartum Depression

Sometimes all a mom needs is hope. When buried under the despair of postpartum depression (PPD) or anxiety, it’s hard to imagine a light at the end of the tunnel. The doctor might tell you it’s there, but you don’t see it.

You need proof.

Since there’s no crystal ball to show you the happiness you’ll regain, you have
to get the proof another way. You have to talk to moms who have been there,
living examples of a full recovery from PPD. They exist. In fact, they are

I love connecting moms to others who have been down the same road.  Nearly one million women suffer from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like PPD, and I want them to know they are not alone and that they will get better.   I’ve seen many times that all it takes is a few words from a mom who has been there to a mom with PPD, who’s feeling isolated and lost, to realize help is available and that she is worth it.

 To offer women with postpartum depression and anxiety  hope and support, I founded Postpartum Progress and Daily Hope, the nation’s first daily support service featuring emails to moms with postpartum depression and anxiety.  Both provide encouragement from survivors, the country’s top perinatal mental health specialists and others who care.  If you or someone you love has PPD, help is only a click away.

Today’s author is Katherine Stone, PPD survivor and spokesperson.