Breastfeeding and Mental Health – It’s Personal

The arrival of a little bundle of joy brings heart-stealing smiles along with many opinions and advice about breastfeeding. Undoubtedly, nursing creates a physical and emotional attachment between mother and baby. It strengthens babies’ immune systems, and for moms, can reduce the risk of disease and bring joy and fulfillment. But not always. For some mothers, breastfeeding is extremely painful. Others cannot supply enough milk, which can lead to extreme feelings of guilt. Breastfeeding and anxiety often go hand in hand as infants on breast milk require frequent feedings. The resulting lack of sleep causes stress, which can reduce mom’s milk supply, creating a vicious cycle.  “Feeding and sleep deprivation — which, of course, are connected — are two of the biggest triggers for moms’ anxiety and mood disturbances,” says Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a psychiatrist specializing in women’s mental health, in The New York Times.  Depression and breastfeeding Does nursing reduce the risk of postpartum depression (PPD)? For most new mothers the answer is yes. Yet those who have a negative breastfeeding experience are actually at greater risk for PPD.  Another mental health issue, but one rarely discussed, is post-weaning depression. Once baby moves to the bottle, sadness is common as the feel-good hormones released while breastfeeding drop significantly.  For post-weaning depression and PPD, antidepressants are often prescribed. But what [...]

2022-08-14T21:51:06-04:00August 4th, 2022|Family & Youth, Mental Health, Support, Women's Health|

Remembering Life: Infant Loss and Grief

One of the toughest questions I have to answer often as a mother is, “How many children do you have?” I never thought such a simple question could turn my world upside down. If I am in a good place mentally, I might reply, “Do you want the real answer?”   I was one of those people who did things according to plan: met a great guy, dated for a while, got engaged, got married, and then got pregnant… quickly. Everything was going according to my plan. I now look back at those times and cringe because I was so innocent and unaware. Life is not always simple. It doesn’t always go according to plan.  I was about to learn some hard truths in a real way.  We planned a family gender reveal for the night of my 20 week anatomy scan, expecting the sex of our baby to be the focus of the appointment. But during the scan, a leg abnormality was found on my son.  I didn’t want to rob our families of the excitement of finding out the sex of the FIRST grandbaby, so I masked my fear at the party that night. Thinking back, this was when my journey of strength truly began. While I wanted to lay in bed and cry, I pulled it together. I [...]

2021-10-01T09:30:40-04:00October 1st, 2021|Family & Youth, Women's Health|

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a campaign to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. The campaign theme for 2019 is I Ask – a theme that champions the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions. Sexual Assault and Mental Health Sexual assault is not only a physical trauma, but a mental one that can have both short- and long-term effects on a victim’s mental health. According to RAINN (the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization), victims of sexual assault are at an increased risk for developing: Depression Substance use disorders Eating disorders Anxiety Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Many survivors experience flashbacks of their assault, and feelings of shame, isolation, shock, and guilt. People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs. Events Join the movement by attending Sexual Assault Awareness Events in Philadelphia: 4/11/2019: Teal Day Press Conference 4/14/2019: Benefit Concert 4/26/2019: Hands Around City Hall Consent When someone gives consent, they give their permission for something to happen, or they agree to do something. Consent means they know what they’re agreeing to. It’s not just about asking for consent, but also about listening and accepting the answer. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center offers resources on consent: Asking for Consent Asking [...]

2021-01-04T20:34:48-05:00April 1st, 2019|Domestic Violence, Trauma, Women's Health|

Go Red for Women

Join DBHIDS as we celebrate National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Please wear red or a splash of red this Friday, February 1! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, causing 1 in 4 deaths each year. But the warning signs for women aren’t the same in men. The fact is: Heart disease is also the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year or approximately one woman every minute! Did you know that African American women and Hispanic women are at increased risk for heart disease? African American women have an estimated 40% chance of having heart disease or stroke Hispanic women have a 30% likelihood of having heart disease or stroke. The good news is that 80% of the risk factors associated with women and heart disease, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, and high blood pressure, can be managed with lifestyle changes and risk factor control. Along with heart disease, depression is among the most disabling of conditions in the US. Both heart disease and depression are very widespread affecting all age groups and populations, and often, a person suffers from both at the same time. For years, scientists have known about the relationship between depression and heart disease: People who are depressed develop heart disease at a higher [...]

2021-01-04T21:18:59-05:00January 31st, 2019|Awareness, Depression, Women's Health|
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