Davis Medical Center’s Women’s HealthCare and Family Birthing Center (FBC) staff are creating awareness of local services available to women during National Maternal Mental Health Month. Pictured are (left to right); Cynthia Marsh, RNC, Senior Charge, FBC; Shirley Daniels, RNC-OB, CTTS, CLC, Perinatal Coordinator; Morgan McKinney, MSN, APRN, CNM, Certified Nurse Midwife; and Jessica Kerns, Mother and Baby Coordinator.

Davis Medical Center joins the Blue Dot Project: Supporting Maternal Mental Health

Elkins, W.V.a – This Month, as part of its participation in the Blue Dot Project, Davis Medical Center (DMC) is launching a series of initiatives aimed at promoting maternal mental health awareness and providing support to mothers in the community.

The Blue Dot Project aims to break the silence surrounding maternal mental health and encourages open conversations about the challenges that mothers face.

Maternal mental health is a critically important yet often overlooked aspect of pregnancy and childbirth.  According to the World Health Organization, up to 20% of women experience perinatal mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  These conditions can have significant consequences for both mothers and their infants, impacting bonding, breastfeeding, and long-term mental health outcomes.

DMC Midwife Morgan McKinney, CNM, said Women’s Healthcare professionals are committed to supporting maternal mental health and ensuring that mothers in the community have access to the care and support they need to thrive.

“One in five women suffer from maternal mental health disorder and yet most do not seek help,” McKinney said.  “We want women to understand they are not alone, and they are not to blame for their emotions or behavior.  We offer a safe and supportive environment for mothers to share their experiences and access professional help.”

Throughout May, DMC’s Women’s Healthcare and Family Birthing Center are launching a communications campaign to bring greater awareness to the warning signs, triggers, and treatment of maternal mental health disorders. Up to 85% of individuals who give birth will experience the “baby blues” in the 2-3 weeks after delivery, which is likely tied to the shift in hormones during the immediate postpartum period. “Baby blues” is normal and can include crying, emotional ups and downs, and a feeling of uncertainty during this initial adjustment.

If a parent is having significant mental health symptoms after 3 weeks postpartum, it’s no longer considered the “baby blues” and could indicate a more serious perinatal mental health condition. Women should reach out to their obstetrician, midwife, or family doctor for evaluation if they are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, irritability, panic, or anything else that makes mom not feel like herself. There are effective treatments and lots of resources we can offer to moms and families experiencing a perinatal mental health disorder.

“Together, we can make a difference for women and families,” she said.

For more information about the Blue Dot Project, visit TheBlueDotProject Maternal Mental Health.

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