Although it would be nice to live in a world where no one had insecurities, doubts, or illness, that's just not the case. Despite what society and pop culture may have you believe, the expectation to be some type of Super Mom is both unrealistic and often unhealthy. Even in your daily life, you can feel pressured to appear happy and successful by friends and family. Yet, for many women, there is so much more going on beneath the surface. That's why it's vitally important for women to know about mental health resources for new moms.
As a first time mother myself, I didn't exactly know what to expect once I gave birth to my son. Though I briefly recall my OB-GYN glossing over the "baby blues," not much was ever thoroughly explained to me what postpartum depression was or what to do if I began to experience signs of it. Though I'm fortunate enough to live in a country where I can waltz into virtually any emergency room and receive immediate help, not all women are so lucky, and new moms deserve more than just rushing to the hospital as a last resort.
If you or someone you know is about to become a parent or recently became a mother, check out these mental health resources for new moms because no one should feel alone or without options.
1. Mother Risk
An online resource, Mother Risk offers support for the mental well-being of new mothers in various ways. You can call the hotline or find plenty of educational material directly on the site. Mother Risk also offers a directory for local affiliates if you aren't interested in online help.
2. Women's Health Matters
For people living in Canada, Women's Health Matters provides a directory of centers where you can receive mental health support as a new mother and they also have online discussion groups so you can connect with other moms in your area who are experiencing similar struggles.
3. Healthy New Moms
Though based out of Maryland, Healthy New Moms has plenty of online resources for new moms such as crisis lines, support groups, family and partner resources, educational material, and a directory for additional help.
4. Postpartum Support International (PSI)
Perhaps one of the more encompassing resources, Postpartum Support International covers virtually every mental health aspect for new mothers. The organization provide helpful tools such as online support groups, a questionnaire to gauge your current mental health state or alert you to any risks, treatment option information, a free texting program, and much more.
According to its site, Seleni, "is a nonprofit organization that provides clinical services, online information, professional training, and research funding for women's reproductive and maternal mental health." There are extensive links on their page as well.
6. Postpartum Progress
In addition to offering directories of providers, support locations, and educational information, Postpartum Progress also has a "New Mom Mental Health Checklist" so you can get some clarity on your situation.
7. Moms’ Mental Health Matters
Developed by the National Child & Maternal Health Education Program, Moms’ Mental Health Matters offers action plans, educational material, and information for partners, friends, and family.
8. Mothers & Others
Founded with the support of the National Institute of Mental Health, Mothers & Others offers government, online, and international resources as well checklists, educational material, and a provider search directory for local assistance.
9. MCPAP For Moms
The Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP) For Moms provides, "real-time psychiatric consultation and care coordination, and linkages with community-based resources to support the mental health of pregnant and postpartum women," according to their site.
In addition to offering resources to new moms, MotherWoman covers a wide range of mental health issues for both women and mothers. The organization hosts events, offers educational material, raises awareness, and has a directory of support groups specifically for new moms.
11. National Coalition For Maternal Mental Health
The National Coalition For Maternal Mental Health provides options to get help, learn about mental health issues specific to new mothers, and become an advocate for maternal mental health.