The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 9 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression.
While “baby blues” after childbirth is common—characterized by mood swings, crying spells and anxiety—it becomes postpartum depression when it lasts longer than two weeks.
The thing for mothers to remember is postpartum depression isn’t a flaw or weakness. It does not make you an inadequate mother. It’s a sign you may need additional resources and support.
For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression.
Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.
Griffen, who struggled after the birth of one of her children, created Postpartum Support Virginia to help other women when she couldn’t find information she needed. Since 2009, the organization has helped hundreds of moms and families get help, support, and healing through this joyous time that can sometimes turn dark.
While it’s associated with mothers, men can get postpartum depression, too. Some of the many signs of postpartum depression in men include:
• increased use in alcohol or drugs
• impulsivity or risky behaviors
• loss of interests and productivity
• feeling emasculated (“I don’t feel like much of a man”)
• Violent and/or suicidal thoughts
A full list of symptoms can be found at Postpartum Men (postpartummen.com), a website dedicated to helping men with postpartum depression.
To learn more about postpartum depression, treatment options, or to find support groups in the area, visit Postpartum Support Virginia’s website at postpartumva.org.