Did you know May is Maternal Mental Health Month!
Even as a therapist, I am not exempt of being affected by Maternal Mental Illness.
In May, we especially highlight the Mental Health of Mother’s all over the World! This whole month long, I, along with Mothers Assisting Mothers (MAM) Ministry of Right Direction Church International, will introduce the 4 C’s of Maternal Mental Health. I discovered these 4 C’s from treating moms in private practice and walking out my own struggles mentally after experiencing a miscarriage. Click here for a full breakdown of the 4Cs.
I’ve always wanted to become a mother and after our 2nd child turned two, I knew that if we were going to have another child, NOW was the time to get to trying! After months of “two-week waits”, I got that feeling that we needed to take a test. We were indeed pregnant! I scheduled my 1st prenatal visit for 10 weeks per my OB’s advice. On November 2017, The day of our 10 week appointment I woke up with some relentless cramping and spotting; all symptoms that I had never had while pregnant. My biggest fear was happening. That morning, I had a miscarriage. I attended the pregnancy confirmation appointment only to confirm that the baby I longed for was no longer in my body. They confirmed that I had just experienced pregnancy loss.
The loss had such a physical and mental impact on me and my walk with Christ. I grieved being pregnant and felt dumb for thinking we could grow our family. I felt guilt for not being satisfied with the two healthy kids we already had. I struggled with fertility and whether we should even try again. I was so angry with God about it. It didn’t help that I had also weaned my daughter from breastfeeding abruptly while pregnant, which is not advised.1 I became depressed and anxious. I struggled with eating and lost a lot of weight. I had poor concentration, rumination, and worry. I wanted to sleep all the time and once I slept, I never felt rested. I remember one morning waking up and saw real relief in not waking up. I had never experienced being in such a dark space. I cried often and isolated myself from friends. The issue was that despite what was happening internally, externally, I still went to work and got my kids off to school; so I nor did anyone else, realized that I was not well. I was still doing it all, just not with my best self. A friend reached out and really asked how I was REALLY doing. It wasn’t but for the grace of God in the form of the 4 C’s of Maternal Mental Health Wellness did the light begin to shine through:
The 4C’s in Action:
If you find yourself struggling with emotional complications, especially during your motherhood journey, please remember:
You are not alone! Mood and anxiety disorders like depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and other conditions are extremely common. Taking the step to seek help, whether it is reaching out to your local support coordinator through Postpartum Support International, or a therapist, is a step worth taking. You will learn healthy coping skills that will support your recovery. The Goal is to be well and connected to a community that supports your mental and emotional wellness.
You can do this Mom... You don't have to this by yourself.
Take a look at www.postpartum.net for more resources.