Recent news stories about tragedies involving potentially depressed mothers and their babies have shocked and saddened our communities, especially those among us who have suffered perinatal depression or anxiety ourselves. At PHA, we want to take the opportunity to reassure parents that these reported circumstances are extremely rare. Depression and anxiety are devastating for families, but the vast majority of those who suffer pose no risk of harm to others. However, these stories remind us that perinatal depression and anxiety remain stigmatized, underdiagnosed, and all too often untreated. It is our hope that what arises out of these recent events is increased conversation and understanding about these disorders. They are not uncommon – one in eight mothers will experience one – but they are treatable. For information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, please visit our website at www.postpartumhealthalliance.org or any of the following helpful sites:
If you or someone you know needs support in dealing with depression or anxiety during or following pregnancy, please call PHA’s warmline at 619-254-0023.