Traumatic Childbirth: The Ever-Widening Ripple Effect

Piggybacking off of my last blog post “Mother May I?” – An Important Documentary About Childbirth Trauma 2 days ago, I wanted to make folks aware about a childbirth-trauma-related event that I spotted on my Facebook feed today.

LMR Visioning Educational Series 2017

Sonia Murdoch, Jane Honikman, and me

The Lisa Mary Reilly Visioning Educational Series hosts an annual event in collaboration with the Postpartum Resource Center of New York.  Last year, I attended the event that took place in Manhattan and featured Jane Honikman, founder of Postpartum Support International.

This year’s event will be co-hosted by The Rochester Postpartum Wellness Coalition and will take place on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 11:00 am-2:00 pm, at the Rochester Academy of Medicine, Rochester, NY.  The guest speaker of this event will be Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN. She a Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing.  Dr. Beck serves on the editorial boards of 4 journals and has published over 150 scientific articles as well as 4 books.  The title of her presentation is Traumatic Childbirth: The Ever Widening Ripple Effect.   Click here to find out more about the event and to buy tickets, which are $50 each and includes lunch.

My wish is for every medical professional that treats mothers–from OB/GYN doctors and their staff to maternity ward staff, emergency room staff, midwives, doulas, and family doctors/general practitioners, as well as mental healthcare practitioners–were required to take this kind of training regardless of where they are located. This means this kind of training should be replicated and hosted in every major city in every state.  Until then, we are going to continue to have medical/mental healthcare professionals fail to realize the connection between traumatic childbirth and postpartum mood disorders.

We need to emphasize the importance of care for mothers just as much as people emphasize the importance of care for babies.  As I’ve said before, it just seems so obvious that, once a mother gives birth to a baby, all the attention goes to the baby and its care and the mother falls by the wayside.  Hello, she just carried a child for 9 months and had to give birth! Her body goes through extreme physical changes, including hormonal upheaval.   Any complications that occur during childbirth can increase the chance of a postpartum mood disorder to occur.  The ONLY view that matters on how a childbirth went should be is the new mother’s view on her childbirth experience.  If she feels like it was a God-awful experience, we need to respect, acknowledge and try to understand her feelings.  We should never pooh pooh her experience.  We should never assume her feelings are what you think they ought to be.  A new mother’s experience is her experience, period.

Let’s care more about how a mother views her childbirth experiences.
Let’s care about the kind of care she receives during childbirth.
Let’s care about how she envisions her childbirth to go.
Let’s care about how she feels about breastfeeding.
Let’s care about how anxious she feels about taking care of the baby.
Let’s care about her enough that when she seems to not be herself, we get her the help she needs.
Let’s care enough to realize that about 20% of new mothers experience a postpartum mood disorder that usually starts within the first 4-6 weeks postpartum but can happen up to a year and may be triggered by weaning.
Let’s care about her feelings, bottom line.

 

 

 

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Upcoming PPD Awareness Events

With Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month just a few days away, there are a number of postpartum depression awareness events coming up.  The purpose of today’s post is to highlight three of the events occurring in the next two months.  In the order in which they will occur, they are:

Shining a Light on Postpartum Depression: The Role of Programs, Policy and Public Health – A Community Forum

When:  Thursday, May 29, 2014 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (EST)

Where: Congregation Beth Elohim, 271 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Theme:  A dialogue on what role the city and state can play in education, screening and treatment of PPD

Presented by: Brooklyn Community Board 6 Youth, Human Service and Education Committee, State Senator Liz Krueger, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Assembly Member Joan Millman, Council Member Brad Lander, and Council Member Stephen Levin

Moderated by: Rain Henderson, Deputy Director, Clinton Health Matters Initiative at Clinton Foundation

2 Panel Discussions:

  1. First panel to focus on clinical symptoms associated with PPD and resources for women and their families.  Panel members to include the amazing Sonia Murdoch, Executive Director, The Postpartum Resource Center of NYRebecca Benghiat, Executive Director, Seleni Institute, and Catherine Birndorf, MD, Clinical Associate Director of Psychiatry and Obstetrics/Gynecology  and founding director of the Payne Whitney Women’s Program at the New York Presbyterian  Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center
  2. Second panel to focus on what role the city and state can play in education, screening and treatment of PPD.  Panel members to include New York State Senator Liz Krueger, New York City Councilman Stephen Levin, and New York City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (NYC Council Women’s Issues Committee Chair).

For more information on this event, click here and/or contact the event organizer, Paige Bellenbaum at p.bellenbaum@ccgbrooklyn.com or 646-228-2381.

27th Annual Postpartum Support International Conference

When:  June 18 – 21, 2014

Where:  University of North Carolina Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, Chapel Hill

Theme:  Creating Connections between Communities, Practitioners, and Science:  Innovative Care for Perinatal Mood Disorders

Sadly, I will not be able to make it this year.  I will miss seeing so many of my friends.  😦  Please click here for my blog post about last year’s conference in Minneapolis and the wonderful time I had there.

For more information, including the agenda, presenters, and registration details, click here.

Climb Out of the Darkness 2014

When:  Saturday, June 21, 2014

Where:  Anywhere you choose to hike up a mountain, climb or walk.

Created byPostpartum Progress Inc., a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness and supports pregnant and new moms with maternal mental illness.

What is it?   It’s the world’s largest grassroots event raising awareness of perinatal mood disorders, in which people around the world hike, climb or walk outside on the longest day of the year (June 21st).

For more information and/or to register to participate, click here.   You can participate by joining a group climb or even start your own individual or group climb.

Upcoming Events in May 2012 – Raising Awareness/Fundraisers for Perinatal Mood Disorders

ILLINOIS:

With Mother’s Day around the corner with May fast approaching, it’s fitting that some states like Illinois observe a Perinatal Mood Disorder Awareness month.  Healthcare Alternative Systems (H.A.S.) is gearing up for its Fifth Annual Treating Moms Well luncheon to raise funds in support of its Postpartum Depression Program.  This year, the luncheon will be at the Standard Club in Chicago on Friday, May 11th 2012. Click here to register. Click here to access the Treating Moms Well Facebook page to participate in a series of contests with fabulous prizes, including a $100 gift certificate to Sweet Pea’s Studio (good for a massage or yoga classes).  Click here to see pictures from last year’s luncheon.

Proceeds from this event will be used to raise awareness and provide postpartum depression (PPD) services to women with limited financial resources.  Services include clinical/psychiatric evaluations, individual and family psychotherapy, group therapy, medication, and case management.

H.A.S. has been a leading non-profit provider of English and Spanish behavioral health care in the Chicago area since 1974.  Additionally, H.A.S. offers the only community-based PPD program–not to mention it’s the only one of its kind available to Spanish-speaking women–in the State of Illinois.

NEW YORK:
[**I will be signing books**]

Join the Sounds of Silence Foundation’s 5th annual run/walk to help raise funds in the effort to increase awareness of perinatal mood disorders, such as postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum OCD, and postpartum psychosis.   Not only is this for an excellent cause, it will be a nice opportunity to race (or walk) a beautiful 5K boardwalk along the Atlantic Ocean.

Date:  Saturday, May 19, 2012

Time:  Registration from 8:30-9:15; race/walk begins at 9:30 AM

Place:   Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, Long Island (Field 5)

Registration:  $25 (adults); $15 (11-18); $5 (10 and under); $3 additional on day of event.  Click here to register in advance.

Other Race Details:  The top female and male runners, plus top fundraiser, will receive awards.  Three years ago, I was one of the two top fundraisers, bringing in over $1,000 (as an individual).

Donation:  If you can’t participate in person but would like to make a tax-deductible donation (and encourage others to do so as well), please click here.  Proceeds from donations will benefit the Postpartum Resource Center of New York.

Click here for more information on the Sounds of Silence, Friends of the Postpartum Resource Center of New York.

Upcoming Perinatal Mood Disorders Workshop – Long Island, NY

Thursday, May 5, 2011 – In celebration of Suffolk County’s, Long Island, NY Perinatal Mood Disorders Awareness Month the Long Island Doula Association (LIDA)–in collaboration with The Postpartum Resource Center of New York and the Suffolk Perinatal Coalition’s Perinatal Mood Disorders Task Force– is offering a Perinatal Mood Disorders Workshop with Sonia Murdock, Executive Director, Postpartum Resource Center of New York as the Guest Speaker.

Who should attend?   

  • Doulas who support pregnant and postpartum mothers. 
  • Medical and mental health care professionals who want to stay abreast of current and effective treatments for perinatal  mood disorders to ensure effective detection and diagnosis and establishment of screening protocols. 
  • PPD survivors and others interested in knowing more about perinatal mood disorders and how they can support other mothers and their families.  

For more details on this workshop, see workshop flyer.