Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative
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MMHRC Blog

Lived Experience

Lacey’s Story: I Felt Let Down By My Body

At 17 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My doctor prescribed me 10mg of fluoxetine; a tiny little pill made all the difference. I knew postpartum depression would be an issue for me, and I was prepared. Or so I thought. What I wasn’t prepared for was PTSD, thanks to being induced at 41…

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Alison’s Story: When You’re in a Fog…You Don’t Know You Need Help

Mom with baby in NICU

My name is Alison, I’m 37 years old and a first-time mom. My baby was born two months early. I think to people who haven’t had kids born early (like me at the time) you just think the experience must be a bit surprising. Maybe you didn’t have the hospital bag packed yet, or you…

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After Postpartum Depression, There’s No Shame in Only Having One Child

Woman sitting on beach holding young son

After a nightmare experience with postpartum depression, anxiety and PTSD, I have one child and I’ve put the reproductive stage of my life behind me. I was blessed with a magical little boy who turned five only a month ago. His status as an only child will stay, and it’s taken me the last five…

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Intrusive Thoughts Are Scary But They Don’t Make You a Bad Mom

Intrusive thoughts are unwelcome and often very upsetting thoughts that can literally come out of nowhere and leave you horrified. In a flash you may have a vision of dropping your baby or somehow hurting them with your kitchen knives. This thought leaves any mom terrified of what she may be capable of. Intrusive thoughts…

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Medication Shaming is Everywhere and It Has to Stop

Woman looking out window, sad and depressed

Medication shaming and mental health stigma seem to go hand in hand. To me its always seemed that mental illness is slightly more socially acceptable if you’re able to manage it without meds. Those that do end up taking medication are left to tip toe around awkward conversations with co-workers and feel the scorn of…

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Patricia Tomasi: Maternal Mental Health is a Women’s Rights Issue

I got pregnant pretty fast. We thought it would take at least six months because that was the norm among our couple friends. But all it took was one quick romp on the couch before dinner on a Tuesday to make it happen. We didn’t even take our clothes off except, for, you know… We…

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Grieving the Postpartum Experience You Didn’t Have

In a culture that so openly celebrates motherhood and the wonderful experience we’re all supposed to have, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Apparently, we’re all missing something unless we have a baby. We can’t fulfill our roles as women without having had a baby and giving motherhood a try. As you think about…

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What It’s Like to Be a Black Woman with Bipolar Disorder

Editors note: We’re thrilled to bring you a guest post from Fightress Aaron, a Black woman living with Bipolar Disorder I. You can find her blogging, advocating and speaking her truth at www.beautifulblackandbipolar.com When I received my Bipolar Disorder I diagnosis five years ago, I felt a sense of relief. I was relieved to finally…

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Kristina Dulaney: Research is a Catalyst for Change

My name is Kristina Dulaney and I am ecstatic to be a Patient Expert Advisor with the Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative. My background is in nursing and yet I had little education surrounding maternal mental health. When it came to my own mental health after the birth of my children, I lacked understanding and…

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Lisa Tremayne: Children Were Everything I Ever Wanted

6 years. 72 months. 72 times I got my period and was so disappointed that my body had failed me again. That’s how the inability to conceive feels and the words that we in the medical field – I am a maternal child health nurse use – the inability to conceive. Just to make sure…

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