Kim Gibson, MS, ATR, LPCC
A Resource to have handy....Postpartum Support International
Did you know? 1 in 7 Moms suffer from postpartum depression. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses. And it is not just Moms who struggle with depression, 1 in 10 new Dads also experience postpartum depression. Common signs include low mood or mood swings, irritability, fatigue and worry. These symptoms are often accompanied by a change in personality or an inability to enjoy one's life. For most, these feelings and symptoms develop a few weeks after birth and can last up to six months. Sometimes, postpartum depression can start even earlier, even in one's pregnancy. The most important part to know is that treatment is available and effective. No one needs to suffer from Postpartum Depression or Anxiety or any type of perinatal mental health crisis alone.
How does one find a local therapist?
Some therapists, like myself, specialize in Perinatal or Maternal Mental Health and are listed in online directories. Postpartum Support International keeps an online directory of providers who have taken their advanced courses. Their online directory is located here:
For help in the Los Angeles area, Maternal Mental Health's website lists local resources including a provider directory. It can be found at this link: https://directory.maternalmentalhealthnow.org/
In addition to looking at these online directories, one should reach out to their own support system and let them know what is going on. Friends, family, OB-GYNS, personal doctors & your pediatrician all can help you find the right professional.
Is online help available?
Yes, definitely. Most therapists, due to Covid-19 concerns, are offering online sessions via video or phone. Also, Postpartum Support International (PSI) has many ways to connect virtually. PSI is there to help and they want you to remember, "You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well." Below are a few ways to connect with PSI's virtual supports & please reach out if I can be of help too.
-You can call PSI 24/7 at 1-800-944-4773.
-You can text 503-894-9453 (English) or 971-420-0294 (Español)
- They have Online Support Groups for Military Families, NICU Families, Pregnancy & Infant Loss, Pregnancy Mood Support, and Perinatal Mood Support Group. https://www.postpartum.net/get-help/psi-online-support-meetings/
- Closed facebook group. Search Postpartum Support International on facebook.
- Search for PSI on Instagram to see special content that applies to the challenges of this time.