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. She continued her search and found a therapist who specialized in perinatal anxiety & depression, who was able to see her in three days time. She did Cognitive Behavioral therapy with him for the next six months. Brittni is now an adamant advocate for MMH.
Q: Why do you love 2020 Mom?
A: I love the mission: closing gaps in maternal mental health care. I was lucky that I had a supportive family and husband who helped me through a very difficult time, but I see a lot of women, as a as a Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition counselor, I that don’t have that same support and I see the stigma associated with MMH when they are questioning themselves, asking “Am I a good enough mother? Am I doing enough? What’s wrong with me?”
Q: What sparked your interest in hosting a ColorWalk?
A: I knew this is an opportunity to do something to bring women together and raise MMH awareness. I live in such a small community, they don’t have a lot of resources. This cause is something that’s close to my heart, and never want another woman experiencing something similar to feel like she’s alone.
Q: How did you go about finding participants and donors?
A: We have a very active Facebook group for local moms that I promoted the event to. That’s where the majority of our participants came from. I also hung a few flyers around at a few strategic family focused places like ice cream and coffee shops.
Q: What stands out What was your favorite part of this experience? Is there something that stands out as the takeaway for you from this event?
A: Coming together as women, being vulnerable and not having shields up. We got to be ourselves and play around for a bit (with the color dust) it was really amazing.
Q: How did this impact your work and/or your community in Maternal Mental Health advocacy/awareness?
A: On a personal level, this gave me the opportunity to open up a part of this work that I want to do, but can be daunting. I’ve been thinking about starting a peer support group but am not ready for that undertaking quite yet. The ColorWalk opened the door to explore more ways to raise MMH awareness in a new way, and without taking the big plunge into running a support group.