Women don't know how common mental illness really is and they don't know that other women are struggling with it as they are struggling.
While moms are pregnant and they go to their monthly check-ups the main focus is usually their physical health. Medical staff check their heart rate, blood pressure, their baby's heart rate, and often check their urine and blood for any red flags that might indicate mother, or baby are not in perfect physical health. However, many times mental health is glossed over. Some medical professionals might not even question a mother about her mental health and other's may ask a simple and broad question about whether or not they are sad.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has made it their mission to help women with pregnancy related depression. The USPSTF have found that many women don't know how common depression is during and after pregnancy and they don't even know how to find support to help them through. Often, counseling and support groups are not offered to pregnant women, because medical professionals usually focus on the physical health of mom and baby.
USPSTF have found that the best way for women to fight through depression during and after pregnancy is to have a support system of other women trying to cope with the same thing. One woman said that after she gave birth to her child that something felt off. She didn't want to be a mom. She didn't feel like a mom. She mentioned that she went to therapy and her therapist spent the entire session trying to make her feel like a good mom. That isn't what she needed. She didn't need to be told that she was a good mom, she didn't even want to be a mom. She found a new therapist who explained about all of the other women that she helped and she led the woman on the road to recovery. This particular woman was prescribed medication.
One woman shared her experience about post-partum depression and said that at first it was hard for her to get out of bed. She said that she hired a daytime nanny even though she didn't work. She would just walk around the neighborhood sobbing and thinking that nothing was ever going to get better. She finally came across a therapist who told her that she was not alone. There were many other women like her. For some reason, that made her feel so much better. She realized that there was nothing wrong with her and that there were other women dealing with mental issues such as herself.
Many mothers do not know how common pregnancy depression and post-partum depression really is for women. They don't know that there are millions of other mothers who are struggling with their same issues. USPSTF wants to make it so that more medical professionals make women understand their options with their mental health.