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Statistics show 1 in 5 women experience anxiety, depression before or after birth

May in Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month.
Pregnant Mother
Posted at 4:34 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 16:34:26-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Wednesday marks Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day.

One in five mothers around the country suffers from some kind of mood or anxiety disorder before or after birth.

While many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety.

This past year, Bronson Healthcare said they've definitely seen an increase in those mothers requesting mental health help.

"Just knowing that they’re too alone. Moms are not alone," said Kristina Ledlow, a Bronson Healthcare Perinatal Emotional Support Coordinator.

While many women try to prepare for pregnancy and birth ahead of time, there's no telling what it will actually be like until you experience it yourself.

Kristina Ledlow, who works with pregnant and new mothers at Bronson Healthcare said sometimes the emotional issues are overlooked.

"It is incredibly important especially for new moms that we are taking care of them both ways because if mom is not okay, baby can’t be okay," said Ledlow.

Statistics show many mothers experience some kind of mood or anxiety disorder before or after birth, about 15 to 20% can have more serious symptoms like depression or anxiety.

Mothers of color are affected at twice that rate.

"It ties into every aspect of her life. The thing about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders is that they don’t discriminate. This can happen to any mom, any mom that is a mother," said Ledlow.

This is what the numbers looked like for Bronson Healthcare in 2020:

"We can treat them with counseling, with medication, support groups, and all kinds of resources we have available. Knowing that they are not alone and there are so many moms that struggle, and knowing that there is help out there is huge so we can help reduce that stigma," said Ledlow.

Ledlow said it is extremely normal to not feel like yourself during pregnancy or after having a baby, but if it persists for more than two to three weeks, you should seek treatment to help as soon as possible.

If you or a mother you know needs mental health assistance, call 1-800-944-4773 or visit Postpartum Support International for more information.