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If you’re pregnant or recently had a baby, there’s a chance your provider may have brought up postpartum depression at one of your appointments. It’s something I think most people have heard of, but it’s really a lot more than that. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) affect about 1 out of 5 people during pregnancy and/or the first year of the baby’s life. And it’s not just moms that can be affected. Anxiety and depression can affect dads, partners, and even adoptive parents as well. But with the help of Postpartum Support Virginia, you’ll find the support that you need.
This non-profit organization is located in Arlington, and it is their mission to educate and provide resources about anxiety, depression, and other PMADs. “Postpartum Support Virginia’s vision is that all birthing people and parents in Virginia will receive information about PMADs, be screened for them during pregnancy and throughout the first year after birth and have access to resources for recovery.” Here you’ll be able to receive one-on-one support by telephone, email, or social media, and you can also join support groups.
If you’re looking to join one of their support groups, you’ll find plenty of options. With almost daily and sometimes multiple times a day, there is a support group option for everyone in Virginia. Some of the options for topic specific support groups include feeding support, NICU parents, a group for women of color, and military families. You’ll also find that they offer location specific support groups since Postpartum Support Virginia services the entire state.
When you just want to read up on some information on your own, Postpartum Support Virginia provides several downloadable resources. A Path to Wellness PDF provides you with some ideas on how to practice self-care and different types of recovery options. If you’re unsure of the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety and certain predictors and risk factors, there are PDFs that go over all of that for you as well. And much like a birth plan is wonderful idea to map out during pregnancy, you’ll find a postpartum plan that will be a big help to you when you’re in need if you fill in the answers ahead of time.
Among all of the valuable information Postpartum Support Virginia also has a monthly series called Real Talk. Experts join the conversation about various topics, and these are recorded so you can watch previous recordings and see what topics might interest you. But you can always catch the new monthly Real Talk live through their website as well.
Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there, but mental health is so incredibly important to take care of. Postpartum Support Virginia offers peer mentors that have experienced and lived through PMADs. Getting support from someone who has been there can make it easier. All you have to do is fill out a form on their website to get matched with a peer mentor. These volunteers will provide:
The Postpartum Support Virginia website truly has so much incredible information for people to educate themselves about PMADs, but if you’re in need of some personal one-on-one support, give Postpartum Support Virginia a call or text:
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As a Northern VA motherhood photographer and fellow mom, I felt there was a need for a safe, supportive, and drama free space for moms and moms-to-be to come together and support one another through the crazy lives we live as moms. Come join us and chat all things motherhood, pregnancy, and more!