Postpartum depression and self-blame

Kimberly Wong, Postpartum Depression Activist, explains the importance of women not blaming themselves for postpartum depression and how the myth of a perfect baby experience often leads to self-blame
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Postpartum depression and self-blame

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When a woman is struggling with postpartum depression, the number one thing that she needs to remember is that she is not to blame. She should not be suffering in silence and she should not put all of the weight of the experience on herself and somehow expect that she will overcome this with some sort of willpower. Women did not create and the man who experience this did not create this situation. This is a very treatable mental health issue, but one that is a family issue. So what that means is that a woman should access help and support from her community and not pretend that she can do it alone. Part of the problem is that our society expects women to be nurturing all the time, regardless of whether they have a newborn. And the myth of the happy birth, pregnancy and early baby experience is just that - it's a myth. So it is incumbent upon all families and communities to take care and not assume that any woman can do this on her own, especially a woman struggling with postpartum depression.

Kimberly Wong, Postpartum Depression Activist, explains the importance of women not blaming themselves for postpartum depression and how the myth of a perfect baby experience often leads to self-blame

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Kimberly Wong

Postpartum Depression Activist

Kimberly Wong, Founder and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, has been an attorney with the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office for 17 years and serves as Special Counsel/Legislative Analyst to the Public Defender. Kimberly co-chairs the Legislative Issues Committee of the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council and is a member of the Council’s Executive Committee. As a result of suffering life-threatening postpartum depression in 2003, after her recovery, Kimberly focused on volunteer activity to promote awareness and to increase knowledge about maternal depression. She volunteered as a phone support volunteer through Postpartum Support International and then served on the Board of PSI for three years. 

In February 2007, Ms. Wong formed and currently co-chairs the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, a network of over 30 individuals representing more than 15 public and private agencies involved in outreach, screening, and treatment services for perinatal depression and related mood disorders, along with community leaders, research partners, and advocates for mothers, infants, and families. The mission of the Task Force is to create an infrastructure in Los Angeles County to address perinatal mood disorders through education, universal screening and linkage to informed services, with particular focus on high risk women and girls, including those who are court involved, substance abusers and domestic violence victims. The Task Force is a project of Community Partners, its 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. 

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