This month we celebrate Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The purpose is to raise awareness about the mental health and well-being of parents before, during, and after pregnancy. 

Maternal mental health not only impacts parents but the child, as well. If not treated, mental health challenges during pregnancy and postpartum can affect how parent and child bond and impact the child’s development and well-being. Additionally, over time long-term effects on the parent and child’s mental health can develop such as depression, anxiety, and postpartum psychosis.

Most new mothers struggle with ‘baby blues’ during pregnancy.  Symptoms can include irritability, fatigue, and anxiety. Additionally, studies show that about 20% of new mothers report signs of a postpartum disorder, which include symptoms ranging from anger, guilt, and shame, to even lack of interest in the baby.

If you have a loved one who has just had a baby, here are some facts about postpartum depression to be aware of:

  1. Several factors can cause postpartum
    Lifestyle and a person’s physical and emotional state are important to note.  Genetics can also play a part in causing postpartum symptoms. 
  2. Maternal Mental Illnesses are common
    Studies show that 10% - 20% of expecting mothers will experience postpartum-related illnesses. 
  3. The first 6 weeks are important 
    After giving birth, it is common to feel a range of emotions, have little energy, and have the blues for a few weeks. Most of a new parent’s time is spent feeling, diapering, and comforting the newborn.  Feeling overwhelmed is normal. It’s imperative, during this time, that new parents feel supported and heard. 
  4. New moms are more at risk than women who have had multiple children. 
    According to the American Psychological Association, new mothers are more susceptible to postpartum symptoms. 
  5. Sleep is essential 
    Sleep deprivation can trigger postpartum disorders.  The Washington Post wrote an article in 2022 outlining the importance of sleep for new mothers and the direct link to depressive symptoms when mothers are sleep-deprived. 

This month, let’s eradicate the stigma of these illnesses and show support to new mothers and parents. 

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at

Leslie Holley, MA, LCPC, LPC, NCC is the owner of Healing-Circle, LLC. She is a Nationally Certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and an experienced presenter on mental health topics. We are honored to have Leslie help support our families needing grief support or hope and healing.




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