KANSAS CITY, Mo. — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and two Kansas City-area business owners, and moms, are trying to remind their fellow moms that it’s ok to ask for help.
About one in eight women have postpartum depression and the CDC says it’s getting diagnosed more often every year.
It’s making newer moms like Madi Miller look for help in a way previous generations often didn’t pursue.
“I was a nanny through high school and college, I’m a middle child, I have tons of older friends who all went through pregnancy and motherhood and I watched them struggle,” Miller said.
That’s why she knew when she got pregnant with her eight-month-old son that she wanted and needed some help.
She turned to Lauren Hays’ and Megan Dalton’s site: The Matrescence.
“If you don’t have this basic level of support its so easy to start sinking,” Hays said.
Hays and Dalton are both moms in the metro and they created a place where moms can go to get advice on seemingly every aspect of motherhood, before, during, and after the baby comes.
Their Instagram and Pinterest pages bring expertise from doctors who cover every angel of pregnancy into a social media landscape that can sometimes be a tough place for moms.
“I recognized personally and professionally that there wasn’t a lot of support out there for moms,” Hayes said.
She’s a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and saw moms struggling while working in the NICU and watched as they went home, sometimes, with little help or guidance.
The Matrescence gives some help for free, with a membership level that provides additional help and connections to other moms.
Especially during Mental Health Awareness Month, Dalton says it’s important for parents who are stretched thin to know that caring for themselves is caring for their family.
“You shouldn’t feel bad about going to the gym or going out with your friends,” Dalton said. “You’re taking care of yourself and showing [your family] that it’s ok to want those things for themselves and taking care of themselves.”
Slowly, Dalton says, the stigma around talking about mental health and how hard pregnancy can be is fading because of the open conversations that moms usually didn’t have only a few years ago.
“You can be proud to be taking care of your mental health just like you’re proud to wear your gym swag that says you worked out today,” Dalton said.
The Matrescence is launching an app soon that Dalton and Hays say will streamline the process to get help and advice.
They also say that Mother’s Day can be a hard time for people who are missing family members or trying to start or expand their families. That makes right now a good time to check in on friends and family.