maternal mental health https://www.mhanational.org/ en Maternal Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic https://www.mhanational.org/blog/maternal-mental-health-during-coronavirus-pandemic <span>Maternal Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/mixkit-woman-staring-out-the-window-looking-at-the-night-sky-25-desktop-wallpaper.png" alt="Illustrated woman looking out window" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/19/2020 - 14:47</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 20, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Adrienne Griffen, Executive Director of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance</em></p> <p>Having a new baby…often the happiest time in a woman’s life.</p> <p>Not always.</p> <p>In normal times, 1 in 5 women will experience anxiety or depression either during pregnancy or the first year of baby’s life. In fact, mental health issues like postpartum depression are the MOST COMMON complication of pregnancy and childbirth, turning joy into sadness, loneliness, confusion, regret, and guilt.</p> <p>In addition, we are not in normal times. We are in a pandemic, and stress and anxiety have reached unprecedented rates:</p> <ul> <li>According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 50 percent of Americans report their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress about the virus.&nbsp;</li> <li>Experts predict that the general stress of the pandemic, coupled with the economic crisis, will lead to new mental health issues and substance use crises.&nbsp;</li> <li>Postpartum Support International – the world’s leading organization in providing support to childbearing women experiencing mental health issues – quadrupled the number of online support groups from February to April to accommodate the increased need for services.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The pandemic has opened a pandora’s box of worry for new mothers and mothers-to-be, who ask: What is the impact of coronavirus on me, my unborn baby, or my newborn? Who can accompany me to the hospital for labor and delivery? How will I care for my baby if I have COVID-19?&nbsp; How does COVD-19 impact breastfeeding?</p> <div> <blockquote> <p><em><strong>To all the new mothers and mothers-to-be who are struggling, please know that you are not alone, that you are not to blame, and that with help, you will be well. Help is available from Postpartum Support International (<a href="http://www.postpartum.net">www.postpartum.net</a>, 1-800-944-4773, text 503-894-9453). Specially trained staff and volunteers can provide support and information about local resources.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> </div> <p><strong>I’m pregnant and I have lots of questions about COVID-19. Where can I find good information?</strong></p> <p>Many organizations have created coronavirus “hubs” on their websites with information related to COVID-19 and pregnancy. Here are a few good places to start:</p> <ul> <li>CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL.&nbsp; The CDC <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html" target="_blank">website</a>&nbsp;is accurate, up-to-date, and easy to understand and navigate.&nbsp;Important pages include: <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html" target="_blank">Pregnancy and breastfeeding</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html" target="_blank">Managing stress and anxiety</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/inpatient-obstetric-healthcare-guidance.html" target="_blank">Inpatient obstetric care management</a></li> </ul> </li> <li>NATIONAL INSTITUTES FOR HEALTH.&nbsp; The NIH has published&nbsp;<a href="https://covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/" target="_blank">Coronavirus Disease 19 Treatment Guidelines</a>&nbsp;to inform clinicians how to care for patients with COVID-19.&nbsp; The Guidelines contain <a href="https://covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/overview/pregnancy-and-post-delivery/" target="_blank">Special Consideration In Pregnancy and Post-Delivery</a>. Because clinical information about the optimal management of COVID-19 is evolving quickly, the Guidelines will be updated frequently as published data and other authoritative information becomes available.</li> <li>MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE.&nbsp; MMHLA’s <a href="https://www.mmhla.org/covid-19">website</a> includes information about research and ongoing studies looking at the impact of COVID-19 during pregnancy and postpartum, along with resources for both women experiencing PMADs and the healthcare providers supporting them.</li> </ul> <p><strong>I’m feeling really overwhelmed and anxious. Maybe the pandemic is contributing to these feelings…but maybe it’s something else.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Maternal mental health conditions – often referred to under the umbrella term “postpartum depression” - can occur any time during pregnancy or the first year after pregnancy and can include anxiety, depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. Maternal mental health conditions are bio-psycho-social illnesses, meaning that the root of the illness is often multi-factorial. It is crucial that a new mother (or a pregnant woman) experiencing these illnesses understand that they are not her fault.&nbsp;</p> <p>Symptoms of maternal mental health conditions include those commonly associated with depression (feeling sad, hopeless, alone) and anxiety (feeling overwhelmed, worried, fearful). Many women have scary intrusive thoughts of hurting themselves or their babies.<em><strong> Please note that having thoughts does NOT mean that you are going to act on them.&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p>In addition, women experiencing maternal mental health issues often say things like:</p> <ul> <li>I’m exhausted, but can’t sleep, even when my baby sleeps.</li> <li>I feel like I am drowning.</li> <li>I am overwhelmed with rage (often focused on partner).</li> <li>I feel like the worst mother in the world.</li> <li>My family would be better off without me.</li> <li>I feel guilty for having these feelings.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Some of the well-known risk factors for maternal mental health challenges include personal or family history of anxiety or depression;&nbsp;sensitivity to hormone changes; lack of social support, especially from a partner; traumatic birth; and major life stressors such as the pandemic, financial stress, or death/illness of a loved one. Certain groups of women are at increased risk of experiencing mental health issues during the childbearing years, including:</p> <ul> <li>women who have had previous experience with a maternal mental health condition;</li> <li>women who live in poverty;</li> <li>women of color; and</li> <li>women who have a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit</li> </ul> <p><strong>How does someone recover from a maternal mental health condition?</strong></p> <p>Fortunately, maternal mental health conditions are often temporary and treatable. The path to wellness can include a combination of self-care, social support, therapy, and medication.</p> <p><strong>1. Self-care.</strong> New mothers need to recover from the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. Being a new mother, caring for a newborn, and maintaining home and family is challenging, especially if the mom feels anxious or depressed. Moms as much as possible should focus on:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Sleep.</strong> Getting 4-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep is the most effective, least expensive thing a new mother can do to start feeling better. Passing off just one night-time feeding can help a new mom get this long-ish stretch of sleep. Note: sleeping too much may be a sign of more serious depression or anxiety.</li> <li><strong>Nutrition.</strong> New <a>moms can try to eat&nbsp;</a>every time baby eats. Water and a high-protein snack (yogurt, cheese stick, nuts) are good mini-meals. Try stocking a feeding station for mom and baby.</li> <li><strong>Exercise.</strong> Gentle exercise – such as taking a walk outside – can have terrific benefits. The combined effect of change of scenery, fresh air, vitamin D from the sun, and endorphins released in the body can have a positive impact on mood.</li> <li><strong>Time off. </strong>No other job is as demanding, requiring being on duty 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. New moms need time off to recharge and rejuvenate, especially if feeling overwhelmed. The challenge is to identify and meet those needs, whether it’s taking a shower, reading the newspaper, or “zooming” with an old friend.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Social support</strong>. New moms often feel the need to connect with other new mothers, especially if experiencing anxiety or depression. Being at home with a newborn or toddler can be socially isolating, compounding feelings of sadness. Fortunately, technology has allowed many peer support groups to move to online formats, providing safe spaces for non-judgmental listening, support, and encouragement from others experiencing similar issues. Leaders of these support groups are caring, empathic, and have survived these illnesses.</p> <p><strong>3. Talk therapy/counseling.</strong> New moms may need to address topics such as their role as a mother, changes in relationships, and communications with a partner. Talking with an objective third party – a social worker, psychologist, or professional counselor – can help put things in perspective. The pandemic has loosened up restrictions on teletherapy, and many therapists and counselors have embraced online appointments.</p> <p><strong>4. Medication.</strong> Sometimes medication is needed to lessen anxiety or depression. Several medications commonly used to treat anxiety or depression are widely considered safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. These medications can be prescribed by primary care physicians, obstetrician/gynecologists, or psychiatrists.&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center"><em><strong>For information and connections to resources, contact Postpartum Support International (<a href="http://www.postpartum.net">www.postpartum.net</a>, 1-800-944-9773 (phone), text 503-894-9453).</strong></em></p> <p><strong>What can I do to help a new mom or mom-to-be who might be struggling?</strong></p> <p>How can you help someone struggling with a maternal mental health challenge? Here are a few ideas:</p> <ul> <li><strong>ASK</strong> a new mom how she is doing. Really listen and ask about HER – not about the baby.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>NORMALIZE </strong>her experience. Let her know that she is not alone, that lots of women have a tough time in the transition to motherhood, and that help is available.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>HELP</strong> by offering to take the baby so she can take a nap or take a shower or take a break. Do a chore: cook dinner, fold the laundry, do the dishes, walk the dog.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>CONNECT </strong>her with help. Tell her about Postpartum Support International, an organization with volunteers in all 50 states who provide support and resources. (<a href="http://www.postpartum.net">www.postpartum.net</a>, 1-800-944-4773, text 503-894-9453).</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.</strong></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/maternal-mental-health" hreflang="en">maternal mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17397&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="96hBhOJclQTib1eHKvScZ-amBSSxkFBLOH5b3tyConA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 19 May 2020 18:47:11 +0000 JCheang 17397 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/maternal-mental-health-during-coronavirus-pandemic#comments Ten to Twenty Percent of New Moms Experience Postpartum Depression: Why Should Employers Care? https://www.mhanational.org/blog/ten-twenty-percent-new-moms-experience-postpartum-depression-why-should-employers-care <span>Ten to Twenty Percent of New Moms Experience Postpartum Depression: Why Should Employers Care?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-07/2020mom%20blog.jpg" alt=" mom and baby" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 09, 2019 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Carole Mendoza, IBM Director of Global Health Benefits and Well-being Strategy, and Board Member, <a href="https://www.2020mom.org/">2020 Mom</a></em></p> <p>Pregnancy and childbirth are often an exciting, happy time in a family’s life, but it is also an incredibly stressful time to the whole family. This becomes even more difficult when mom works.</p> <p>Caring for a newborn (especially the first born or a child with special needs) is a significant time commitment. This becomes more challenging as moms and other caregivers lack proper sleep. There are also additional financial pressures in caring for a new family member and taking time (sometimes unpaid) away from work.</p> <p>Post-birth, the medical focus is primarily on the new baby. Though newborns are checked multiple times in the first month of life, mom may not be seen by her obstetrician until six weeks post-labor.</p> <p>Add all this together and having a child can become quickly overwhelming. <a data-entity-substitution="canonical" data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="f6631767-9707-4abf-8c9f-e70010818f93" href="/node/285">Ten to twenty percent of new moms struggle with postpartum depression</a>. Even moms who have the best support systems and no previous history of mental health concerns can struggle.</p> <p><em><strong>Why should employers care?</strong></em></p> <p>For progressive employers, the health and well-being of ALL employees is extremely important. This increases productivity and drives business results.</p> <p>Employers also want mom to get back to work as quickly as possible, and that’s difficult to do when she’s struggling with mental health concerns in the postpartum period (defined as 12 months post-delivery). Once mom returns to work, mom can be more fully engaged when all her physical and emotional health concerns are addressed.</p> <p>Many employers face a tight labor market, and the war for talent (particularly in the tech industry) is real. Helping to care for new families demonstrates that an employer is family-friendly and cares about the whole person (not just the worker).</p> <p><em><strong>What can employers do to support moms who are struggling?</strong></em></p> <p>There are many tactics employers can take to support new families:</p> <ul> <li>Provide robust behavioral health resources through medical benefits programs and an Employee Assistance Plan.</li> <li>Help to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of ALL mental health concerns, not forgetting this vulnerable time surrounding birth.</li> <li>Encourage insurers/health plans to monitor whether obstetricians are screening for potential mental health issues during pregnancy/postpartum and facilitate access to in-network reproductive mental health providers. Also encourage health plans to reimburse postpartum depression screenings by both pediatricians and obstetricians (since baby is often seen by a doctor far earlier than mom in the postpartum period). <a href="https://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/12/17/perinataldepression121718?eType=EmailBlastContent&amp;eId=6c62bfa2-835a-4f0c-a63b-5f2d30b78fbe">Both the American Academy of Pediatrics</a> and the <a href="https://m.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Screening-for-Perinatal-Depression">American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology</a> recommend this, but reimbursement is not always made by health plans/insurers.</li> <li>Implement extended parental leave programs to support recovery and bonding.</li> <li>Offer flexible work arrangements to support work/life integration (vs. work-life balance).</li> </ul> <p>Employers have a terrific opportunity to support new families and drive long-term employee engagement and loyalty by supporting new moms with all their physical and emotional health needs.</p> <hr /> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/carole%20mendoza_headshot%202.jpg" style="border-color: white; border-style: solid; border-width: 10px; height: 175px; width: 150px;" />Carole is an executive in the IBM Human Resources group. She leads the global health and wellness benefits team, and her responsibilities include the strategic development, analysis and implementation of IBM’s global health and wellness benefits programs. Carole has held employee benefit leadership positions in the high tech, biotech, and oil &amp; gas industries, as well as a health care benefits consulting role. Carole is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) and earned her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/maternal-mental-health" hreflang="en">maternal mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=2125&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="a8gXixsbm3VLEr_MI8BsEBK6tUkXOJ_plCKIxbHzUK0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 09 May 2019 14:34:22 +0000 JCheang 2125 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/ten-twenty-percent-new-moms-experience-postpartum-depression-why-should-employers-care#comments Life, Death, and Stable Markets – Reauthorize CHIP and Fund Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments https://www.mhanational.org/blog/life-death-and-stable-markets-reauthorize-chip-and-fund-cost-sharing-reduction-payments <span>Life, Death, and Stable Markets – Reauthorize CHIP and Fund Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments</span> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:39</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Caren Howard, MHA National Advocacy Manager and Nathaniel Counts, JD, MHA National Senior Policy Director</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/CHIP%20pregnant.jpg" style="width:100%;"></p> <p>By October 1, the House and Senate Health Committees had passed bills reauthorizing Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the primary health insurance for pregnant women and children whose income disqualifies them from Medicaid insurance. But, neither chamber acted to vote on the bills before the expiration of CHIP at the end of September.</p> <p>Unfortunately, by the second week in October, the Administration announced it would end Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments, payments that were offered to health insurers as part of the Affordable Care Act to stabilize premiums for Americans in the individual market.</p> <p><strong>This week, Mental Health America urged Congress to act quickly to reauthorize CHIP and to fund CSRs. </strong></p> <p>Millions of Americans are impacted by mental health conditions nationwide and Congress must not let people’s coverage get stripped away.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nga.org/cms/news/2017/extend-chip-funding" target="_blank">U.S. Governors</a> indicated their state budgets are not equipped to handle a funding lapse for children and they would be forced to deny coverage and services, and eventually completely shut down their children’s health programs. Care for nine million children and pregnant women in low-income households is slipping away by the day, and we will lose opportunities to bend the trajectories of lives.</p> <p>In its August 2017 report, <a href="https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/53009-costsharingreductions.pdf" target="_blank">the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated</a> that non-payment of CSRs would begin the destabilization of the insurance markets, ending in an increase in costs for consumers and an increase the federal deficit by $194 billion.</p> <p>These changes put mental health and children’s programs at risk at a time when rates of suicide and overdose are increasing. People will to lose access to the services they need to work, parent, and participate in their communities.</p> <p>These disruptions will precipitate more severe mental health and financial crises - with possible repercussions for years to come.</p> <p>We need Congress to reauthorize CHIP at the current eligibility for at least five years, and fully fund the CSRs.</p> <h2>How can I help?</h2> <h3><strong>If you have one minute, take one action, and if you have five minutes, take them all:</strong></h3> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://bit.ly/cspanlist" target="_blank">Tweet</a>&nbsp;</strong>at your elected officials! Copy and paste the following and make sure you tweet at your correct legislator:<br><br /> "@[Senator] As your constituent, I demand that you quickly reauthorize CHIP and fund CSRs. #ActB4Stage4 for #mentalhealth."</li> <li><a href="https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials" target="_blank"><strong>Call</strong></a>&nbsp;your Senators' office or the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Press #2. Then enter your zip code.</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/townhall/" target="_blank"><strong>Write</strong></a> to your Senator using <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/07/facebook-inserts-itself-into-politics-with-new-tools-that-help-elected-officials-reach-constituents/" target="_blank">Facebook's Town Hall feature</a>. If this feature is available in your area, make sure your Constituent Badge is on. Many legislators will not read the comments of individuals who are not marked as one of their constituents.</li> <li><a href="https://townhallproject.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Meet</strong></a> with your elected officials. Let them know that mental health in important to you, and that you are not just a number.</li> </ul> <h3>Not sure what to say? Here's a script for you to use:</h3> <p>"As a constituent, I demand the Senator act quickly to reauthorize CHIP and fund CSRs. At a time when rate of suicide and overdose are increasing, people will lose access to the services they need. These disruptions will increase severe mental health and financial crises - with possible repercussions for years to come."</p> <h3>Download shareable images to spread the word. Let your voice be heard and your message be seen clearly.</h3> <p><a href="/sites/default/files/CHIP%20and%20CSRs_0.zip" target="_blank">Click here to download</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/sites/default/files/Simple%20Shareable%20CTA_0.png"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/Simple%20Shareable%20CTA.png" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="/sites/default/files/Phone%20Call%20to%20Action_2.png"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/Phone%20Call%20to%20Action_1.png" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;"></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/sites/default/files/Twitter%20Script%20Call%20to%20Action_2.png"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/Twitter%20Script%20Call%20to%20Action_1.png" style="width: 600px; height: 300px;"></a></p> <p><strong>Let your elected officials know where you stand with mental health in mind.</strong></p> <hr> <p><em>**Note, the Administration eliminated funding for reaching out to help people buy insurance. <strong>If you or anyone you know needs health insurance, they may shop the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/" target="_blank">Marketplace</a> now. Enrollment <span style="color:#ff0000;">begins on November 1 and ends December 15.</span></strong></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/maternal-mental-health" hreflang="en">maternal mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/insurance" hreflang="en">Insurance</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/insurance-coverage" hreflang="en">insurance coverage</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1599&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="5wt20WwDD-4o7Pn4mcc2Erh0Lonb2cPgMIoHxjGgpkQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:39:25 +0000 JCheang 1599 at https://www.mhanational.org