I’ve been a bit absent from the blog, but not because I’ve been hiding! No way. I’ve been BUSY. First, I found this great new self-care idea called Jamberry Nails:
I tried a sample my friend sent me, and I loved it so much that I wanted ALL the designs! Well, wearing that sample around, other people loved it, too, and they started asking me about it. It just made sense to go ahead and sell the stuff myself, if it was going to be that easy! It has been SUCH fun adventure. I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that I’m officially responsible for my own “direct sales” business. I’ve done so well, though, and it hasn’t even been three weeks, that my confidence has gotten a huge boost. I love looking at pretty hands whenever I type, play with my toddler, open his snacks, make my endless calorie-filled smoothies (yes, I’m still fighting weight loss and barely winning) – these babies can handle anything, without getting damaged. I just took that picture, and the manicure is five days old!
Well, after signing up with Jamberry boosted my confidence, I decided to register for this year’s Climb Out of the Darkness fundraiser for Postpartum Progress. As I was signing up for it, it became painfully obvious that no one in my area was taking charge of this thing. So, I signed up to be the Team Leader for my area! You should register to climb with a team in your area to support maternal mental health, and you should learn more about what Postpartum Progress does, too. If you’re not going to fundraise for your own area, please donate to my Climb! You can also shop for the cause at my Jamberry site.
I am doing this fundraiser to raise awareness, as well as funds, for the struggle women face with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. I have struggled with anxiety all my life, but I was shocked and horrified to find that anxiety and depression experienced by pregnant women and new mothers is so often shrugged off and ignored.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 to 20% of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. If you settled on an average of 15% of four million live births in the US annually, this would mean approximately 600,000 women get PPD each year in the United States alone.
In fact, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and related illnesses in a year than the combined number of new cases for men and women of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, and epilepsy.
You might be interested to know, however, what’s missing from the CDC’s estimate. Women who miscarry or whose babies are stillborn are also susceptible to postpartum depression, but the CDC’s report only looks at live births, so if you consider that 15% of the 6 million women who have clinically recognized pregnancies annually will get PPD, that’s 900,000 women each year.
Only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional treatment.
AT LEAST 1 in every 7 women will suffer–that’s more than will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Postpartum Progress is a national nonprofit that raises awareness of maternal mental health and provides support for pregnant and new moms struggling with it. It is a patient-run and patient-focused organization. I have found the most welcoming, beautiful community, there.
I somehow escaped the terrifying symptoms of a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, even though my chances of being diagnosed with one are three times greater, because of my history with anxiety and depression. No one in my community has ever asked a harsh question or made a judgment about me; I can get support and help for the challenges I face as a mother coping with anxiety, even if it is anxiety I’ve faced all my life. Support, resources, and e-hugs are always available. I have made lifelong friends. And I have never met a stronger, braver, or kinder group of women in my entire life.
My goal is to raise $1,000 for my climb, and I only have until June 21st! If I reach that goal, I will earn free admission to the Postpartum Progress conference in 2015. I know that you can help. I know that maternal mental health matters to everyone reading this, because you all know mothers. How many of them have struggled in silence? How many of them even know that pregnancy and birth do NOT need to come with terrifying anxiety, or heavy bouts of depression? How many of YOU are struggling, and would like a safe place to get some help? Even if it’s just the message that it’s ok if you don’t feel overjoyed with bliss at the news that you are going to have a baby, or even at the birth of a new baby–moms NEED to know that. Climb, donate, shop for charity. Do something.
Other news: My husband and child were in a car accident, and while it was very frightening, everything is a-okay with them. Thank goodness for car seats! We’re not thrilled about adding a car payment to our monthly bills, but my new business venture came at just the right time.
I’m continuing to work with a functional medicine practitioner, and will update you as soon as there’s something concrete to say! So far, I just know that I feel great!
Finally, coming up: a post about how you can help check on a friend who has a new baby, while sounding purely supportive and not judgmental!