Support groups. Talking with other women who have survived perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, such as postpartum depression, can be extremely helpful. Support groups offer the opportunity to validate experiences, share coping strategies, and gain support and encouragement. Support groups are active throughout Virginia.
Medical professionals. Medical professionals play an important role in assisting women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including anxiety and/or depression. New mothers can talk with an obstetricial provider, gynecologist, family practitioner, or primary care provider. These doctors can help rule out underlying medical conditions – such as thyroid changes and anemia – that can occur following pregnancy. Mental health professionals can assist with counseling and medication when necessary. Pediatricians can also provide information about postpartum depression.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is conducting a series of studies regarding the effects of hormones on women’s mood disorders, including studies of postpartum depression. To learn more, contact Annie Shellswick at 301-402-9207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for Military Families. Military mothers – whether military spouses or active duty – face a higher risk of postpartum depression. PSVa provides a FREE Military Moms virtual support group on Monday evenings; register HERE. Other resources for military families include:
- Postpartum Support International has compiled research regarding military women and postpartum depression and has a point of contact for each of the military services..
- Operation Special Delivery offers specialized doula support for military mothers.
- Give An Hour provides free mental health services to military members and their families affected by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.