Two weeks after giving birth to my second daughter, I realized I was suffering from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD). The signs were familiar as I had experienced the same symptoms after my first child was born, three years earlier. I understood that I couldn’t do it on my own and had to reach out to someone for help.
Even with that realization, it was hard. People expect new mothers to be joyful, not sad. They expect that having a newborn is a beautiful, happy time. When you have PMAD, it is those things, but it is also dark and scary.
I have a loving and supportive husband, a stable home and an amazing support system. How could it be that I was so depressed, anxious and sad?
The reality is that PMAD doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone, and it is relentless.
My primary care doctor prescribed medication and referred me to Pine Rest’s Mother and Baby Program. There, I was helped by gifted clinicians and surrounded by other moms who understood exactly what I was going through because they were experiencing the same feelings and thoughts. I felt supported and not alone in my depression.
The Mother and Baby Program took away my shame. I got better, for myself and my family.
I am beyond grateful for Pine Rest and the loving work done through the Mother and Baby Program.
About the Mother and Baby Program at Pine Rest
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), including postpartum depression, are the most common complication of childbirth, affecting 15-20 percent of pregnant women and moms. In the 10+ years since the Mother & Baby Program opened its doors in December of 2012, over 1,700 moms and moms-to-be have found support and gained the ability to fully experience the joys of motherhood. One of only a few like it in the country, Mother and Baby is a short-term, intensive day program that allows moms to bring their babies to treatment. This feature enhances mother-baby bonding and allows for immediate skill-building around childcare and feeding issues in a supportive peer-to-peer environment.
The Mother and Baby Program is one of many services supported by Pine Rest’s Patient Assistance Fund (PAF), which helps reduce the cost of treatment for individuals and families with financial need.
For more information or to make a donation to the Patient Assistance Fund to help people like Jessica, please visit pinerest.org/GIVE.