Motherhood is a beautiful and transformative experience, but it can also be challenging and overwhelming, especially when it comes to mental health. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma around mental health, and mothers are often hesitant to seek help for fear of being judged or seen as a failure. In this article, we will explore the importance of breaking the stigma around mental health in motherhood and seeking support when needed.
The reality is that motherhood can be stressful, and it is not uncommon for mothers to experience mental health challenges. According to the American Psychological Association, up to one in seven women experience postpartum depression, and many more experience anxiety, mood disorders, and other mental health challenges throughout motherhood. These challenges can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, lack of sleep, isolation, and the pressure to be the perfect mother.
Despite the prevalence of mental health challenges in motherhood, there is still a stigma around seeking help. Many mothers feel ashamed or embarrassed about their mental health struggles, and they may worry that seeking help will make them appear weak or incompetent. This stigma can be especially prevalent in communities of color, where there may be cultural and societal pressures to appear strong and resilient at all times.
However, the reality is that seeking help for mental health challenges is a sign of strength and resilience, not weakness. It takes courage to admit when something is not right and to take steps to address it. By seeking help, mothers can get the support they need to overcome their challenges and become better mothers to their children.
So how can mothers break the stigma around mental health and seek support?
The first step is to recognize that mental health challenges are normal and that seeking help is a sign of strength. It is important to remember that seeking help does not make a mother a failure, but rather a proactive step towards becoming a healthier and happier parent.
The second step is to find a support system. This can be a trusted friend or family member, a therapist or counselor, or a support group for mothers such as the Kuponya Group. It is important to find someone who can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for sharing and listening.
Additionally prioritizing self-care is so important. Mothers often put the needs of their children and families before their own, but it is crucial to take time for oneself. This can include practicing mindfulness, getting regular exercise, engaging in creative activities, or simply taking a break when needed.
Fourthly, It is also important to create a support system that includes healthcare professionals. This can include a primary care physician or OB/GYN, as well as a mental health professional. These professionals can provide screening and treatment for mental health challenges, as well as referrals to specialists if needed.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that seeking help is an ongoing process. Mental health challenges may come and go throughout motherhood, and it is important to continue seeking support as needed. This may involve regular check-ins with a mental health professional or participating in a support group.
Breaking the stigma around mental health in motherhood is crucial for the well-being of mothers and their families. By recognizing that mental health challenges are normal and seeking support when needed, mothers can become better equipped to handle the stresses and challenges of motherhood. This can lead to happier, healthier families and a brighter future for all.
In conclusion, motherhood can be challenging, and mental health challenges are not uncommon. However, there is still a stigma around seeking help, which can prevent mothers from getting the support they need. By breaking the stigma and seeking support, mothers can become better equipped to handle the challenges of motherhood and become happier, healthier parents. It is time to prioritize mental health in motherhood and create a supportive and non-judgmental space for mothers to seek help when needed.
With Love, Lakischa Smith
Meet Lakischa Smith, a proud mother and a dedicated public health advocate. With a Bachelor’s from Dillard University and a Master’s in Public Health from Florida International University, she’s committed to sharing honest narratives about black motherhood. Lakischa believes in fostering sisterhood to combat the pervasive forces of white supremacy, and empowering African American women to be agents of change for future generations. She asserts that recognizing and addressing our community’s struggles is crucial, for healing is the key to moving forward. Armed with the power of education and a deep belief in collective action, Lakischa is determined to ensure that the issues impacting African American motherhood aren’t just seen—they’re addressed and resolved.