I’m so sorry for being spotty with posts the last week or so, but I hope you’ll forgive me because I have so many exciting things to tell you. I’ve been traveling around speaking publicly and having lots of conference calls (OMG the conference calls!!!!) related to maternal health advocacy, and it’s about time to give you an update. I’m hoping you are as excited as I am about all the possibilities for changing the way we educate, identify and treat women with postpartum depression and the people who treat them.
I. Am. Jazzed.
Can you tell?
Here’s what’s been happening …
Isis Parenting – I met an amazing group of women at Isis Parenting in Boston who are working to revolutionize childbirth education and the support of pregnant women and new mothers. I was able to speak twice about PPD on their behalf, and loved every minute of it. I’m hoping Postpartum Progress and Isis will continue to work together in the future. These are some very smart people and I love what they’re doing.
Massachusetts General Hospital – I feel very fortunate that I was able to spend time in Boston with the staff of the Center for Women’s Mental Health and speak to all of them about their work and how it intersects with ours at Postpartum Progress. They are as passionate as I am about helping women with postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I’m looking forward to every chance we get to work together to change things for pregnant and new mothers. I’m such a huge fan of Ruta Nonacs MD, Marlene Freeman MD and Lee Cohen MD. Huge. Fan.
The White House – Yes, that White House. And no I didn’t go there (some day, ladies!!), but I did get to participate in a special event in Atlanta called the White House Community Partnership. This event brought together representatives from the administration — Health & Human Services (HHS), EPA, GSA, Transportation, Housing & Urban Development — with community leaders, and I jumped at the chance to talk to anyone I could about the sorry state of America when it comes to awareness, identification and treatment of women with postpartum depression. I was very pleased to meet Jon Carson, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement as well as several people from HHS, all of whom listened and provided input. I learned a lot, which helped me as I think through what our nonprofit is trying to accomplish. I will let you know what happens next.
The White House Council on Women and Girls — I am in contact with and will hopefully be talking soon to the White House Council about what we can do to move forward the issue of fixing the lack of support and services for postpartum depression and related illnesses in the US.
The Office of Women’s Health — Ditto.
University of North Carolina — Had a conference call this week with David Rubinow, MD, who is the director of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. They’re doing great things right now and I hope to be able to tell you about all of them soon.
Blissdom – I went to this blogging conference in Nashville last week and was able to hug so many Warrior Moms in person who have been readers of this blog. More than anything, I would say one of my favorite things to do is meet survivors and current sufferers of PPD. You are the reason I do what I do every single day.
I’m sure there’s more. But my brain is so jam-packed that I just can’t think. Next weekend I head off to the South by Southwest conference, better known as SXSW, to speak on a panel with some amazing people about social media and advocating for causes.
I just wanted you to know all of this for two reasons:
1) If you don’t see me writing, it’s not because I’m blowing off Postpartum Progress. I’m just doing other work to try and kick postpartum depression’s ass. Fist bump!
2) There are some great things coming. GREAT. We are going to change things. Really CHANGE things. It may take a little while but I assure you it’s going to happen.
Our generation will not let what happened to us — lack of awareness, untrained physicians, lack of resources and stigma — happen to our daughters.