Did you know that one in five women will suffer from a maternal mental health disorder? Here at The Doula Foundation, we are very familiar with the term Maternal Mental Health, but now more than ever, we want to make sure that you are aware as well. The term has generally applied to mental health of the perinatal population (pregnant women and women in the postpartum period). These can range from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders to PTSD, depression, and the rare but serious postpartum psychosis.
As a community, we have found ourselves in unprecedented and highly stressful times, but for the pregnant and postpartum women that we serve, worries about the pandemic can worsen already-present risk factors such as financial stress, lack of support, relationship stress, and loss of employment or housing due to the crisis.
The Doula Foundation has been working tirelessly over the past several weeks to ensure these moms and their families are finding the support they need. Here are just a few examples of how we are working to address maternal mental health locally.
- We have expanded our classes and are offering them all free-of-charge in a virtual format so that families are continuing to receive education and support during this time.
- We are offering virtual one-on-one support to moms via telephone and video conferencing, including reaching out to past clients to check in and make sure they are weathering this time well.
- We are meeting material needs of our clients by offering them days for drive-in pickups of diapers and wipes from Diaper Bank of the Ozarks and other available baby supplies through our boutique.
As you may know, The Doula Foundation is a Community Based Doula model program and many of our team members are also Community Health Workers, so our staff is well trained, armed with up-to-date evidence-based information and other tools needed to offer our current families the same compassion, support, and a listening ear that has comforted thousands of families throughout the Ozarks over our past 20 years of service. Our team of certified perinatal community health workers that specialize in birth and postpartum support are able to help reduce stress, anxiety, and provide prenatal support to prevent and help to address maternal mental health issues every day.