Mamas on Bedrest: Your Mental Health Matters

July 6th, 2015

Hello Mamas,

Calling your attention to an amazing organization that is doing exceptional work globally for mamas, The Maternal Health TaskForce (MHTF). A project of the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, MHTF is working towards:

  • Making the most up to date evidence-based information is available to practitioners, provider, researchers and anyone with a vested interest in helping and supporting women during childbearing
  • Provide opportunities for the global maternal health community to come together to discuss and create unified policies on women’s health issues globally
  • Provide resources and support for research in Maternal/Infant/Child Health
  • Train the next generation of Global Women’s Health Practitioners and researchers.

I receive the MHTF e-newsletter and the last newsletter was all about Maternal Mental Health. Maternal Mental Health is an often overlooked (ignored!!) part of women’s health. Current research estimates are that 10-15% of women in upper income countries (like the US, Canada, Australia and the UK for example) experience perinatal mental health disorders. In lower and middle income countries (Africa and parts of Asia), the current estimate is closer to 33% and many researchers feel that this number is low because until now mental health in childbearing women in these countries hasn’t been addressed. However, the impact of adverse maternal mental health has had significant impact on maternal health, infant and child health and the maternal child bond, so researchers and clinicians both are very keen to study the various mental health disorders common in childbearing women-mainly depression and anxiety.

Over the last month, MHTF had a blog carnival addressing mental health issues in childbearing women in their Mental Health: The Missing piece in Maternal Health series. It’s a really interesting series of blog posts and reflect how pervasive mental health disorders are in childbearing women, and how overlooked the signs and symptoms have been until very recently. The blogs also address how the stigma of mental health is so strong in all countries regardless of economic status, and this stigma is keeping many women from receiving much needed care. The articles do a wonderful job of highlighting the issues surrounding the stigma of mental illness, how women are not being heard in terms of the emotional toll of adverse birth outcomes and barriers to care. I highly recommend taking a look.

For those of you not really interested in global women’s health and need assistance closer to home, (i.e. for yourself!!) I am happy to announce that our Third Thursday Teleseminars are going video! It has long been a dream of mine to be able to bring Mamas on Bedrest together to be able to talk and share ! I have been researching platforms on which to do this for years and until recently, the platforms were just too grainy (i.e the images were really not that good), Platforms were only able to accommodate up to 10 participants or platforms that could accommodate more than 10 participants had hefty user fees or required expensive software. Now there is Zoom web conferencing and it’s amazing! I attended a web conference using it last week and I could clearly hear and see all of the other participants! So we are giving Zoom a test drive for our Third Thursday Teleseminar, July 16, 2015. Login details will be shared in our upcoming newsletter and will be available on our website. So if you have concerns about anxiety, depression or other feelings you may be having during your bedrest journey, this is the perfect time and place to bring your concerns.

In the meantime, share pressing questions or concerns in the comments section below or send an e-mail to Info@mamasonbedrest.com for a 24hr response.

Mamas on Bedrest: “Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby!”

June 29th, 2015

Hello Mamas!

The tagline for this business is “It’s all about mamas!” I am as interested in your success as mamas as I am in you having a successful pregnancy. I am always happy to hear of mamas using what they learned during their pregnancies, what they know for sure as a result of having been pregnant, and what they want to share with the world now that they are “seasoned” mamas.

Emmi WilesToday I share with you an interview that I had with a good friend of mine and new mama, Emmi Wiles. Emmi and I met in a woman’s program offered at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, and I have had the great pleasure to witness Emmi’s journey from loving daughter who graciously loved her father through his passage from this life, to newlywed and now to mama (FYI Emmi was not on bedrest!!).

Emmi is also a talented artisan and creates all manner of art that she will be sharing on her etsy page. (Stay tuned and stay in touch with her for more art adventures!!) But for now, she is a full time, hands on mama to a little 6 month old boy who is her inspiration for her latest blog, “Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby”. The blog is Emmi’s chronicle of her motherhood journey and how she is doing her best to weave motherhood into womanhood. It’s a delightful read and I hope you will all take some time to stop by and give Emmi encouragement. For now, listen to how
“Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby” was birthed and share you comments in the comments section below.

 

Mamas, Have you created something new as a result of your pregnancy? Would you like to share it with other mamas? Please share details of your new venture/adventure with Info@mamasonbedrest.com and tell is what’s up. We’d love to hear and support you!

Mamas on Bedrest: From Bedrest to a Business!

June 22nd, 2015

Hello Mamas,

Today’s blog post is a bit different. A few months back I received an e-mail from a new entrepreneur, Rennard Watkins, asking if he could interview me for his podcast. At first I was surprised. Few men ask to interview me about Mamas on Bedrest. But because I like to help others out (as so many people have helped me get up and running!!) and I love ANY opportunity to speak about Mamas on Bedrest and raise awareness of what happens to women who have high risk pregnancies and the whole bed rest experience, I gladly accepted. I had forgotten the interview until I found an e-mail from Rennard and followed up. Lo and behold, here is the interview and I am sharing it with you all.

I will warn you up front, this has much more of a business/entrepreneur tone to it, so it is not exactly geared towards Mamas on Bedrest. But I wanted to share it with you to inspire some and encourage others to see what can become of your high risk pregnancy experience. When I was having my children, I was so stressed and so worried all the time and I just couldn’t find support and an outlet for all of my emotions. That is what moved me to start Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond, to be a place, an outlet for other mamas going through difficult pregnancies to find support, information and a community of people who know EXACTLY what she is going through. I also want to take a moment to encourage you to check out the work of other “former” Mamas on Bedrest who have taken their bed rest experiences and turned them into platforms from which to share experiences, expertise and support for other women.

Parijat DeshpandeParijat Despande– Parijat was a “former” mama on bedrest and gave birth to a very early preemie. She is a psychologist by training and is utilizing her skills and expertise to support women going through difficult pregnancies as well as families and couples experiencing stress. Parijat is also the founder of MySahana, a mental health non-profit raising awareness about mental health issues in the Southern Asian community. Be sure to check out her website for fantastic information, resources and if you would like to take advantage of her expertise.

 

Jennifer Degl BookJennifer Degl – Jennifer is also a “former” mama on bedrest who gave birth to a micro preemie. Jennifer chronicled her journey in a diary the day that she gave birth to her daughter, and that diary account has become a book called, “From Hope to Joy: A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and Her Micro Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds”. The book is available at Amazon.com as well as on Barnesandnoble.com. Check out Jennifer’s website for other information about being a preemie parent and preemie parent support information.

 

Rachel Blumenthal – Rachel chronicled her bedrest journey in her book “One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encounter with Bedrest”. This is a wonderful read, and though told with humor, it shares some pertinent truths and tips about being on bed rest that mamas on hospital bed rest may want to note. Rachel also wrote a wonderful children’s book called “Wherever I am, I will love you still” which shares about bedrest from the perspective of her young son. This is a great book to get if you have young children as it gives a good description of what it is like for mommy to be away in the hospital and waiting for baby brother or sister to come. Both books are available on Rachel’s Website as well as on Amazon.com.

One Recumbent Mommy Book Cover13473959522301251787406

These are but a few of the examples of what has become of a bedrest experience. If you are a former Mama on Bedrest and a member of this community, and have turned your bed rest experience into a creative endeavor, please share your story. We would love to support you, cheer you on and be inspired by your work.

And now, here is the interview on Spotlight on Podcast, with Rennard Watkins! Please be so kind to go to iTunes after listening and share a comment. That will help Rennard’s online presence and boost his podcast ratings!! Thanks so much!