The royal baby's birth inspires PPD awareness

The royal baby's birth inspires PPD awareness

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While the birth of their first child, a son they named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is undoubtedly a joyous occasion for the royal couple, the new parents are using this worldwide moment of royal baby obsession to put a spotlight on a serious issue all too common for new moms: mental health challenges.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S., and May 13 to May 19 is Mental Health Awareness Week in the U.K. To honor this, Meghan and Harry unfollowed all accounts (including Prince William and Kate Middleton’s) on Instagram this month except for those of 16 people and organizations that focus on supporting mental health.

The highlighted organizations include Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Sunday talk show, Heads Together (the royals’ mental health initiative), and the meditation guide Headspace.

“[We] are hoping to shine a light on several Instagram accounts that promote mental well-being, mental fitness, body positivity, self-care, and the importance of human connection — to not just hear each other, but to listen,” Harry and Meghan’s Instagram post reads. “We invite you to explore the extraordinary stories of strength, and the commitment to kindness as seen in the above accounts.”

While mental health problems can affect anyone, much attention has been paid recently to mental health conditions that affect new moms, particularly postpartum depression. The U.K.’s National Health Service reports that 1 in 10 women suffer from postnatal depression. Closer to home, a recent study in California revealed that fewer than half of perinatal women who reported symptoms of anxiety or depression received treatment.

Though it's unclear whether this is also the pattern in the U.K., the new data does suggest that everywhere, new moms – including Meghan Markle – and their families should be on the lookout for classic symptoms of postpartum depression, such as extreme sadness, anger, or irritability; lack of interest in usual activities; loss of appetite or overeating, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the number one complication of pregnancy and childbirth, according to the California Health Care Foundation. Screening for depression is now recommended in the U.K., as well as by major medical organizations in the U.S., including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Thankfully, there are effective treatments for perinatal depression and other pregnancy-related mental health disorders. If you need help, or believe you may be suffering from postpartum depression or another mental health problem, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

In addition, the organizations below provide information about mental health, and can help you connect with resources in your area:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
  • Postpartum Support International (1-800-944-4773). You can also text 503-894-9453.

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Watch the video: Royal Baby of Sussex - Vedic Astrology Chart (May 2022).

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