May 3 has been proclaimed Maternal Mental Health Day in the City of Lloydminster. Approximately one in five moms experience postpartum depression and many other moms deal with mood disorders such as anxiety after giving birth, Lorelee Marin the Health Promotion Facilitator for Alberta Health Services says this day is important for moms to know there is support.
“It’s just important for moms to know they matter in our community and there are lots of resources there to support them, so they can always connect with community counselling or Midwest Family Connections to access those supports that they need and we can customize them to meet the needs of themselves and their families.”
Marin adds, “when moms are struggling with anxiety or postpartum depression they can’t provide the same level of care for their children, so we want to make sure that every mother and child has the best start together.”
Marin says there are resources available for moms, including the Mental Health and Addiction Services which can be reached at 306-820-6250 or by calling the Health Line at 811.
“Maternal mental health is a priority area for the Mental Health and Addiction Services in Lloydminster and the staff team is very committed to serving pregnant women and new moms who are experiencing mental health concerns or have postpartum depression or anxiety.”
Marin adds that it may be difficult for moms who are struggling to come forward.
“I think many moms feel like this should be the best time of their life, they should be so excited and happy to welcome this new baby into their home and when their feelings aren’t what they show in the TV shows, they may start to feel like somethings wrong with them and they don’t want to express that to others because they have a sense of that they should be feeling so happy and excited, so they do keep that to themselves and they struggle alone silently.”
She goes on to say the best way to deal with the stigma is communication.
“If we talk about it more often, if we have regular conversations about taking care of ourselves, talking about our mental health, moms would feel more comfortable reaching out and asking for support and talking about how they really feel.”
Marin does say communication is improving, adding they developed the Mothers First Resource, which is a booklet for moms with postpartum depression or even for those experiencing the “baby blues,” to promote mental well-being. Since the booklet was started three years ago, Marin says they have handed out over 1, 000 copies. In addition, there is a Mothers First group that takes place on Thursday afternoons at Midwest connections, which Marin says has been really well attended.