“Around 80% of new mothers will experience a change in their mental health in the first year after giving birth. Some experience a change while they are pregnant. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) include depression, anxiety or OCD, Bipolar disorder, PTSD and psychosis. PMADs do not discriminate: they affect people of every race, every level of income, every age, and even all genders. It is quite common, and it is important to know that it is not your fault, you are not alone and there is help”. (https://pphatx.org)
In 2002 I began my work in postpartum maternal mental health. My career started at the Vista Community Clinic in Vista, CA providing social services to teen moms and their babies. At that time, I learned an extensive amount about what new moms need (emotionally, physically, medically and in social support) and also the huge discrepancy between that and what supports are actually offered in the community.
From this work, I became certified as a Lactation Educator. My goal was to provide in-home education and information to these young new moms and help them to navigate what we think would be simple (feeding the baby) but that is actually quite difficult for many moms.
This, in turn, set the foundation for my studies and work in years to come supporting mothers, fathers, infants, and families as a whole.
My career has taken me to volunteering my time as a board member and community advocate for maternal mental health and women’s sexual health. I have facilitated support groups for new moms, and I have created relationship workshops for new parents that foster the adult attachment bond during the first few years after having a baby.
I have received training from Postpartum Support International and I do my best to keep up with the latest research and clinical skills for supporting parents.
I am also a mom to three of the best kiddos I know. I have experienced postpartum anxiety and depression with all three. My particular anxiety and depression presented as fear of leaving the house, scary thoughts, intense irritability, anger, and worry of harm to my babies that often kept me up at night.
Your experience is important to me and I strive to hold you in both your fears and your heartache. I hope to assist you in moving forward and to support you through the steps of healing.
You do not have to walk this alone.
Getting postpartum support is a necessary element of supporting you so that you can be present with your baby and create that secure attachment bond.