May is for Motherhood and Mental Health

Mental Health Matters for Moms

Moms are superheroes—but sometimes superheroes need help, too. May is both Women's Health Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, making this the perfect opportunity to highlight the intersections of motherhood and mental health. There are many ways mental illness can manifest in mothers.

Here are 3 common motherhood mental health concerns with actionable ways moms can learn to cope and get support:

new mother holding and kiss infant baby
1. Postpartum Depression

While it's very common for new mothers to experience some "baby blues" right after birth, postpartum depression (PPD) is a longer lasting, more severe mental health condition. Symptoms include mood swings, irritability, feeling unattached to your child, insomnia, crying fits, and brain fog. There are a variety of ways you treat postpartum depression, ranging from seeking professional help to self care techniques. Read how to cope with postpartum depression.

2. Burnout

The COVID-19 crisis has been tough on everyone, including moms. Whether a stay-at-home mom or working remotely from their homes, the pandemic has taken a toll on the strongest women we know. In December of 2020, it was reported that 9.8 million working mothers suffered from workplace burnout. Often times burnout occurs from a lack of support and an increase in pressure on mothers to act as the primary caregiver for their child while juggling their workplace responsibilities. Learn how to recognize the problem by reading our articles on pandemic fatigue and treating burnout.

3. Anxiety

Some anxiety is to be expected for a mother taking care of and raising another human being, but sometimes excessive worrying can be detrimental on their mental well-being. It's natural to worry about passing down mental illness, intergenerational trauma, or continuing the cycle of abuse. Seeking professional help or a support group to talk out these fears is a therapeutic way to address these concerns and get the support needed.

The pandemic has also introduced another element of severe anxiety into the lives of mothers. They are now burdened with worry about their children's health and development, especially through the unprecedented changes in schooling. A study conducted in July 2020 revealed, "more than eight in ten mothers say they are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that the teachers and staff at their child’s school will get sick from coronavirus (85%) and that kids at the school will be unable or unwilling to adhere to physical distancing guidelines (82%), and about three in four mothers worry that their child (77%) or someone in their family (77%) will get sick from coronavirus if their child returns to school in-person, or that the school will be unable to comply with public health recommendations (73%)". Our Mental Health Resource Center includes helpful articles for what to do when you are worrying about your child's grades, tips for helping your child transition into remote or hybrid learning models, anxiety during back to school season, and suggestions to help calm kids' nerves heading back to school during COVID-19.

Despite their strength, moms are not immune to mental health concerns. If you or a loved on is suffering, clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers are here to help. Acenda also offers specific support and services for new and expectant moms. For more information about our maternal health services, call 856-431-4180 or email centralintake@acendahealth.org.

Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information or to schedule an appointment.