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Depression is a horrific illness that affects as many as 10% of Americans at any one time. Depression is a brain disease that can cause confusion and distortions in thinking, as well as interference with basic physiologic functions, including: sleep, energy, appetite, motor function and more.
Washington D.C. has always been a place that draws me. It is a place of action, compromise, debate, activism. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this year’s Advocacy Days with 2020 Mom. I would like to take a moment to share three aspects of the few days in D.C. that were most impactful and memorable to me.
Brittni was thirty-eight weeks pregnant with her daughter when she had her first intrusive thought. She developed prenatal depression and then after delivery she experienced postpartum anxiety & OCD.
She knew about Postpartum Depression, but she also knew that what she was experiencing didn’t feel like it matched up with PPD. Her husband did a little google searching and found more info. When he told her he thought he found out what was wrong with her, she was both surprised and relieved: “So I’m not crazy?” “I’m not the only one?” She recalled saying. After this, Brittni had brought her symptoms up with her OB, but he had brushed her off saying good luck finding a mental health provider, you’ll probably have a four-month wait. Luckily, she didn’t stop there.
Origins of Mother’s Day
Did you know? Mother’s Day was officially founded in 1908 by Anna Jarvis in honor of her mother, Ann, who had been a bereaved parent of 12 children, only 4 of whom grew to adulthood. She intended the day to be an intimate celebration within families to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices mothers like hers make for their children. Interestingly enough, Anna Jarvis never had any children of her own, yet she advocated for nearly 40 years to protect the heart of Mother’s Day against the commercialization that began to run rampant. Rather than profit from the holiday, she chose to spend the rest of her life and entire inheritance rallying against those who sought to profit from the day she held so dear.
In one of the latest new articles about AB 2193, in Rewire News, titled "Could a California Bill Be the Key to Addressing Mood Disorders in New Parents?" the writer notes, "The bill takes a somewhat unique approach to this issue, and is one that could become a model for other states."
We love April Dembosky, the reporter that has been covering maternal mental health here in California this year.
Last week, April published another story, "To Screen or Not to Screen - Doctors Debate Postpartum Depression Testing" which is scheduled to publish to Kaiser Health News and National Public Radio this week.
Do a quick read and then come back, as we want to share some points of our own in response to the article. Here goes:
This weekend something that has never happened in the maternal mental health happened:
a mother's story went viral on Facebook.
A mom in Sacramento California, went to her Ob/Gyn on Friday for help with postpartum depression with symptoms of anger and scary thoughts, and the next morning, Saturday, January 20, she posted this:
Perinatal loss is an unexpected, traumatic, and life-changing event. It includes miscarriage, termination due to medical reason, stillbirth, and infant death. One in four mothers report experiencing perinatal loss, however the number may be as high as 50%. Annually, approximately 24,000 babies will be stillborn (>20 weeks gestation), and an additional 23,000 infants will die within the first 28 days of life.
Each year we kick off our work with our annual forum.
This year, Friday, February 9, we are bringing THE biggest name in maternal mental health to the stage to inspire you, educate you and help the field refine our focus through our policy in action table conversations.
2017 was our busiest year yet, we walked the fine line of balancing our passion to drive change and our real ability to do so with limited hours in the day.
Our most substantial achievements this year were release of the California Task Force for MMH white paper in May, building a community of Ambassadors, and launching the Innovation Awards.