Maternal Mental Health Day is coming to the city to spread awareness about postpartum depression. On May 1, the Lloydminster Maternal Mental Health Initiative is bringing an open discussion on what postpartum depression really means to help reduce stigma surrounding it.
According to the LMMHI, 1 in 5 women will experience depression during or after pregnancy. One in ten dads develop depression during this time and 7 in ten women affected by PPD hide or downplay their symptoms. The event aims to help shed light on how common post-partum depression may be and help reduce stigma around it.
Krista Holden is a member of the committee involved and a mother herself. She’s struggled with PPD herself and says it can take many different forms, from depression to rage and even psychosis. Holden thinks that the more people can be aware of PPD, the better outcomes may be for families.
“We want to make sure families are getting the best start here in Lloydminster. Our children’s development depends on mom being healthy, so I think it’s really important that we continue the conversations around reducing mental health and reducing the stigma attached to it,” says Holden.
Holden says that the reality of PPD looks very different for each woman affected by it. Risk factors such as unplanned pregnancies, health scares, a history of mental health issues, sleep deprivation and higher hormones can be common precursors to the condition. However, Holden says these risk factors aren’t always clear about how PPD takes hold.
“For myself, we didn’t have any of the risk factors. So when we looked at postpartum depression, based on those risk factors, I shouldn’t have had postpartum depression. But, I did, and quite chronically and for quite some time.”
Holden believes it’s important to acknowledge the risk factors but realize that PPD can run much deeper. The discussion will feature a panel of women who’ve been affected by it sharing their stories and experiences. Holden says that ultimately, it’s a chance to bring the community together and hear about the ways they can help those touched by PPD.
“I think that’s one of the things that we hear, is that people want to help but they’re not sure how to help. So making sure people understand that there are services available and that there are resources available.”
The event is free and open to the public at the Timber Cafe, in the Home Hardware Building Centre at 9:30 a.m.