CHARLOTTE – Nearly eight out of ten moms in the United States experience postpartum depression symptoms.
“Postpartum Depression is a type of depression surrounding pregnancy and birth,” explains Celeste Chacon, perinatal nurse educator for Novant Health. “We usually refer to it as PPD or just ‘Postpartum,’ but it’s bigger than that. The official term is ‘Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder’ because what a lot of people don’t know is that there can be an anxiety component with it as well.”
Celeste and two other educators have come together to create Novant Health’s postpartum support group and so much more. The program that has been developed offers a free online support group for any new parent looking to connect, discuss shared experiences and feelings, and voice concerns surrounding this uncharted world of parenting. The confidential support group is peer-led and meets virtually twice a week. They meet on Monday night at 7:00 pm and on Tuesday morning at 10:00 am.
The postpartum support team is three nurses that have the experience that moms are looking for. Celeste and the support team have each been labor and delivery nurses with more than 10 years’ experience on the floor, and they are also moms themselves. When they are offering support, not only do they have the education but also the hands-on experience that makes their advice so valuable to the pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experience.
It is normal for every mom to experience some postpartum depression symptoms – better known as the “baby blues” – within the first two weeks after having a baby. It is important then and after those two weeks if symptoms are still present to reach out to the support system or an OB/GYN. The emotional experience along with the physical changes are very hard for moms, and you should always talk to your OB/GYN provider about your symptoms. Open communication with your provider is very important to understand how moms get the support that they need. There are more than just medications that can help. Not everyone is the same and the treatment for postpartum is different for everyone. Major life changes like lack of sleep, caring for a baby, feeling alone, and other circumstances in life can trigger the symptoms to be different for each person.
The most important thing to remember is no one is alone in this process. Support is just a phone call or email away. Novant Health’s postpartum support group is a free online support group that is available to expecting moms and moms of children up to 18 months old.
If you’re interested or know someone that could benefit from learning more about Novant Health’s postpartum support group, one of their health educators is available to discuss the importance of seeking support. If you or someone you know may be experiencing postpartum depression symptoms, the group can help. For questions, concerns, help, or scheduling /signing up for classes questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Novant also offers online childbirth classes that can help with becoming confident parents and address issues that can arise during pregnancy and after. Scheduling those classes and other resources can be found at www.novanthealth.org/maternity.
Postpartum Support International and other resources can also be found at https://www.postpartum.net/. This site offers support not only for postpartum moms but also provides resources for loss and grief and support for co-parents. They provide direct peer support to families, train professionals, and provide a bridge to connect them. National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is also available 24 hours a day 7 days a week as a free and confidential hotline for pregnant and new moms in English and Spanish. Their hotline is (833) 9-HELP4MOMS and for more information visit https://mchb.hrsa.gov/national-maternal-mental-health-hotline.