6 Awesome Moms Help Break Down The Stigma About Maternal Mental Health By Sharing Their Postpartum Stories
The struggle is real. No matter how prepared you are, how supportive your partner and family are, no matter how many plans and backup plans you have for handling the experience of being a new mom, one thing you can’t plan for is where your emotions are going to take you during those first sleep-deprived weeks and months. While the stigma around talking about mental health has been steadily decreasing, it’s still a risky and difficult thing to confront. For moms, the stakes are even higher. The fear of being labeled a "bad" mother and the scary consequences that come with that are very real. There is an extra layer of anxiety when it comes to maternal mental health, and that can create barriers for women looking to access support.
Many of these new moms have sought out online communities to connect with other women going through the same intimidating and sometimes scary moments that come with having a baby.
“I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby, so while I was up at 2 am breastfeeding, they were out on the town. It was was hard to admit, but I was feeling isolated,” says Michelle Kennedy, the co-founder & CEO of Peanut, an app that connects moms the way Bumble and Tinder connect singles with dates. “I would find myself scrolling through blogs in the middle of the night looking for baby advice and also longing for someone to talk to during those late-night feedings. The problem was, everything I saw reverted to anonymous web forums and blogs with condescending language that made me feel like the only identity I had now was ‘mommy.’”
In an effort to normalize those less-than-blissful postpartum experiences and anxiety-filled headspaces, six brave women shared their stories of insecurity with us, and tell us where they went to find support and how it helped.