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Addressing Postpartum Depression During Black Maternal Health Week

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: Antelope Valley Medical Center
Addressing Postpartum Depression During Black Maternal Health Week

Did you know that black women are 50% more likely to experience postpartum depression than women of other races? Despite this alarming statistic, black women often face unique challenges in accessing behavioral health care. During Black Maternal Health Week, it's essential to recognize these challenges and provide resources and support for those struggling with postpartum depression.

The Unique Challenges Black Women Face

Black women face a variety of challenges when it comes to accessing behavioral health services. These challenges can include financial barriers, as black women are statistically more likely to live in poverty and may not have the resources to pay for behavioral health care. In fact, women of color account for 22.3% of poverty-stricken women.

The stigma surrounding mental health is also a significant barrier for many of this demographic, who may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help for their mental health concerns. Additionally, there is a shortage of mental health professionals who understand the unique experiences of women of color, making it difficult to find a provider who can offer culturally competent care.

Finally, the historical and ongoing racism and discrimination they face can contribute to stress and anxiety, exacerbating symptoms of postpartum depression.

Coping with Postpartum Depression

While postpartum depression can be challenging to cope with, there are steps that women can take to improve their mental health. Some strategies that may be helpful include:

Reach Out for Support

Talking to someone about your feelings can be essential in coping with postpartum depression. This can be a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Support groups and individual and group therapy sessions can be helpful for women to connect with others going through similar experiences.

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care can look different for everyone, but making time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation is important. This can include exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. You can also take advantage of various classes and resources to support women's physical and emotional well-being, including yoga, childbirth education, and breastfeeding support.

Consider Therapy or Medication

For some women, therapy or medication may be necessary to manage symptoms of postpartum depression. It's important to talk to a behavioral health professional to determine the best course of treatment. At Antelope Valley Medical Center, our expert team of behavioral health professionals offers personalized programs tailored to each patient's needs.

Resources for Help

There are many resources available to women who are coping with postpartum depression.

Antelope Valley Medical Center's Women & Infants Pavilion offers comprehensive care for women during and after pregnancy. As a part of this commitment, we participate in the state-wide Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP), which provides enhanced reimbursement for various services to Medi-Cal eligible pregnant and postpartum women.

Our CPSP services include assessments, treatment, and interventions in obstetrics and individual case coordination, nutrition, health education, and psychosocial services. Through our participation in CPSP, we can offer comprehensive support to women during this vital time.

Additionally, organizations like Postpartum Support International and The Blue Dot Project offer support and resources for women struggling with postpartum depression.

Know That You Are Not Alone

Coping with postpartum depression can be challenging, but there is help available. It's important to reach out for support, prioritize self-care, and consider therapy or medication if necessary. If you're struggling with postpartum depression, remember that you're not alone.

Antelope Valley Medical Center's Women & Infants Pavilion supports you through every pregnancy stage and beyond. Contact us online or call (661) 949-5000 today to learn more about our comprehensive services.