Attention fellow bloggers, mothers, PPD survivors and other concerned citizens…..today is the big day, the 2nd official BLOG DAY to let your voice be heard in support of this much-needed legislation to help mothers in this country. This year’s event is being led by fellow PPD blogger, Lauren Hale.
I don’t need to encourage my fellow PPD bloggers, but if you see this and don’t already blog and have been thinking about doing so, today wouldn’t be a bad time to start. It took some encouragement from fellow PPD blogger, Kristin Davis, for me to start blogging 2-1/2 months ago. She told me it would be easy, and she was right!
If you do have a blog, please use the tag “Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act“ and leave a comment here so that Lauren knows you’ve joined in. Other options would be to join on Facebook and/or Twitter about it. There is also the option to simply pick up the phone and call your US Senator.
The more people blogging about this important legislation between now and Mother’s Day, the more people will become aware and add their names to the list of national endorsers. If you’re reading this post now and haven’t already added your name to the list, PLEASE do so right now! This list will be presented to the Senate during the week of Mother’s Day.
This list of national endorsers includes PPD survivors (like myself), friends and family members of PPD survivors, national non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, medical practitioners, mental health practitioners, and major family foundations formed by those who have lost loved ones to untreated or improperly treated birth or postpartum mood disorders. Click here for more information on these foundations.
Everyone on this list–which by the way is one of the most extensive American bipartisan endorsements ever assembled– shares one common goal. To raise awareness about the very real perinatal mood disorders and avoiding the oftentimes tragic consequences when they go untreated and are misdiagnosed. I consider myself fortunate. I did seek help because I went from fine to unable to function within a few days. Had I not sought help, I do not doubt that something tragic might have happened. When a new mom does not know what is wrong with her and yet she is suffering so intensely, all the while feeling guilty for not being able to take care of her baby the way she wants to, it is not surprising that she can feel like there’s no hope and there is no end to the despair and pain that she is feeling. I survived my experience and learned a lot from it. I learned that there is a long road ahead of us in getting mothers in this country the help they need during pregnancy and postpartum. I was angered by the way I was treated by my doctors. Angry for no one telling me about PPD in the first place and the lack of information that is given to the public via magazines, hospital training, doctors’ offices, and television. Angry for the way society makes assumptions that all mothers have smooth and easy pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum experiences.
There is not enough people out there talking about PPD, let alone depression in general. Without a federal mandate, improvements in 1) public perception toward moms with PPD, 2) research efforts to improve existing treatment options and ability to detect PPD earlier and thus minimize the impact on mothers, 3) availability of support services, and 4) quality of care by medical/mental health practitioners will continue to crawl at a snail’s pace like it’s done for centuries…..and at what cost?
How many more tragedies will need to occur before people realize that something must be done to help mothers in this country?