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Anchored. Podcast Episode 3 - Baby Blues Clues: A Glimpse at Postpartum Depression

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Anchored. is MFLN Family Development’s NEW podcast created to support and inspire those connected to military families. Each episode focuses on real life struggles and topic areas that many families encounter. We invite you to sit back, relax and get Anchored. with us!

Presenter Bio

Bari Sobelson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has worked in the community as an LMFT in different settings including home-based therapy, private practice, and through the state and federal- funded early intervention program. Bari has a passion for working with children with special needs and their families. She has taught as an adjunct instructor in the marriage and family therapy program at Valdosta State University and served as the local GAMFT chapter chair for 2 years. She is currently the Social Media and Webinar Coordination Specialist with our MFLN Family Development team. Not to mention, Bari is a mother of two boys, who keep her very busy!

The Quote

“I remember waking up in the middle of the night when he was crying and I was rocking him and feeding him with a bottle and the only thought that I had, and I just kept perseverating on this one thought over and over and over and over again, was if I were alive many, many, many years ago when formula was not around, my baby would have died because I could not provide for him.”

Noticeable Changes

That society doesn’t want to talk about postpartum depression until a news report shows where a mother has killed her child and then there's the judgement: “shame on you. How could you do this to your child?”

Because of my experience, I have been made more aware of signs to look for in new moms/dads. It has made me want to gather all of the necessary tools to equip my clients with if this were to ever happen to them.

As a mom, I have noticed the change within myself to value the importance of supporting others around me who may be struggling, new moms or soon to be new moms, and it has gotten me thinking about ways in which we can prepare these moms.

Unforeseen Barriers

Society is focused on “Breast is Best.” It is shown in advertisements and the breastfeeding movement. There are all of these resources to help support women who want to breastfeed, but what I didn’t realize or know is that I would have such a hard time finding resources for women who wanted to breastfeed but could not.

I also thought that I would be more equipped to handle my postpartum depression based upon my profession and having already experienced it once with my first child. I thought that it would not effect me as much the second time. That was not the case. Because when you are in it...it doesn’t work like that, rationality goes out the window.

The stigmatization around breastfeeding made me believe there were not many places I could go or people i could talk to about my situation and what I was feeling. I felt like I couldn’t talk about my postpartum depression with anyone except my doctor and mental health professionals. I felt like people would judge me and chastise me.

Bari's Advice

  • Getting the word out in the public through social media platforms.Talking to individuals and getting information out there that prevalence of postpartum and that it is real and happens to more people that you would think.
  • It is my hope that mental health professionals and OBGYN’s will work together collaboratively.
  • I believe OBGYN’s and mental health professionals should distribute surveys to new moms at their after birth 6 week check up. It would probably be beneficial for the surveys to be given before and after giving birth.
  • Educate your clients. Normalize the information. Show them statistics that allows them to know that they are not alone in this.
  • Be mindful of the language you use so that it is not misconstrued as judgement.
  • Give clients the space to talk about what they are thinking and feeling. Make them feel comfortable enough to admit their animosity toward their child without having judgment passed upon them.
  • Equip moms with the appropriate tools that they need to raise their child in the manner in which they always envisioned it. Ask them, “What kind of mom do you want to be? What have you envisioned motherhood? Let’s work together on ways to get you there?” Never let the mother feel shamed.

Join Us on LinkedIn

The MFLN LinkedIn group is a forum for military family services providers, including DoD, Branch Services, Reserve, Guard and Cooperative Extension members. We invite you to join us to share professional experiences, discuss issues, and make connections. MFLN focuses on family development, personal finance, military caregiving, community capacity, transitions, network literacy, and nutrition and wellness.  

If you are interested in joining our group so that you can participate in our podcast discussion, please visit https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8409844. Keep in mind that this is a private group. To request membership, click “join” and your request will be reviewed by the group manager.  

Please join us so that you can respond to today’s question of:

Bari shared her powerful experience with postpartum depression today. She suggested measures that could be put in place to inform, prevent and treat postpartum depression. What are your thoughts on information, prevention and treatment regarding postpartum depression?

Interview Links

Cover Photo Image: Flickr[Decaying boats and an rusty anchor at Sheldrakes, Heswall, Wirral by Beverly Goodwin, October 15, 2013, CCO]

Created by Bari Sobelson