Today October 5th is my son Ronin’s 4th Birthday!
Today October 5th is my brother Ron’s 35th Birthday!
Today October 5th is the day when more children are born each year than any other day. Wow! Who knew!?
When Ronin was born, I had already been suffering from prenatal and perinatal depression. I was treated. I knew that I was at great risk for postpartum depression due to my past experiences with mental illness. So I continued to seek help, go to therapy and remain on medication.
That time I was lucky.
In 2010, after the birth of Ellie, my self care was not up to par. With two children, sleep deprivation and stress got the better of me and I suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety (even though I was already on medication.) Did you know that can happen?!? I didn’t even realize what was going on, even after years of experience managing my mental health. My regular doctors did not ask me about my mood. My children’s pediatrician did not ask me about my mood.
I felt lost in the midst of illness.
I know many of you have trudged the dark and lonely road of postpartum depression, either as a sufferer, a family member or someone who cares for new mothers.
I have no doubt that the statitics are true. Today only 15% of all women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders ever receive professional treatment. This means that each year hundreds of thousands more women and their children may suffer from the negative effects of untreated PPD and related illnesses for the rest of their lives.
My friend Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress–the most widely read blog about postpartum mood disorders and non-profit foundation–wants to change that with my help and yours. (And by the way, I’ve signed on to be a regular monthly contributor to Postpartum Progress blog, so you know I am 200% in support of Katherine and her work!)
Today October 5th is Strong Start Day 2011 at Postpartum Progress!
The foundation’s goal is to raise funds for incredibly vital projects that will reach new moms:
- A compelling national awareness campaign for postpartum depression
- New and improved patient education materials for hospitals (The kind new moms won’t throw away!!)
- New uses of technology to reach suffering moms no matter where they are
- “Plain mama English” PPD information and support in Spanish and other languages
Today I am asking you to do one of three things:
1) Make a donation to Postpartum Progress. Any amount is welcome.
2) Ask at least 2 other people who love you and know what you or your loved ones went through – people who’ve come to know that postpartum depression is real and that all women deserve to have access to the best information and help – to make a donation today in your name.
3) Refer us to contacts at organizations that can help Postpartum Progress with our work.
If you are financially unable to donate, send Postpartum Progress your prayers or moral support so that the foundation may find the right people to help make major change.
Every single person who donates this week will be honored on the Postpartum Progress website (unless you prefer to remain anonymous). Postpartum Progress is a 501c3, so your donation is tax-deductible.
I have donated to Postpartum Progress in the past and do so again today. Will you join me?