• mother

  • That old saying “It takes a village to raise a child” could not be more true when becoming a mother. For the first time or the tenth, motherhood can be a struggle.

    Life is not one-dimensional. There are many factors that influence our emotions. Sometimes it can be just a bad day or there may be a prior trauma that comes back to play during this adjustment time. No matter what the struggle is, we are here to provide information, support, and connect you to services available right here in Austin and Central Texas

Around 80% of new mothers will experience a change in their mental health in the first year after giving birth. Some may even experience a change while they are pregnant. PMADs do not discriminate: they affect people of every race, every level of income, every age, and even all genders. It is quite common, and it is important to know that it is not your fault, you are not alone and there is help. With good, informed care, you can fully recover.

Read more about postpartum depression here.

Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) do not discriminate. They affect women, men, people of every culture and nation, people of any age. They can affect adoptive parents, birth mothers, and women who have had a miscarriage. Some people, however, have an increased risk of developing mood disorders during pregnancy or in the first year after birth. If you think you may be at risk, contact your doctor and begin setting up a support network. Find more information about support services available.

Risk factors include:

  • You or your family has a history of postpartum depression, anxiety or psychosis
  • You or your family has a history of depression or anxiety,  not around childbirth
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Financial stress
  • Marital stress (or lack of supportive partner)
  • Complications in pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
  • A recent major life change: job, moving, death, divorce, etc.
  • Mothers of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • Mothers of babies who went into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)
  • Women with a thyroid imbalance
  • Mothers who have gone through infertility treatments
  • Women with diabetes (type I, type II, or gestational)
  • Teens

With early detection, you can dramatically reduce the severity and length of a postpartum mood change.

Every family needs different kinds of support. Below is a comprehensive list of the various kinds of assistance available in the Austin, Texas area. For a detailed resource list click here. If you need help finding the resources you need, contact our Program Coordinator, Beth Thomas, at beth.arthur@gmail.com or (512) 590-1853.

  • Psychiatrists
  • Therapists
  • OB/GYNs
  • Midwives
  • Doulas
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Placenta Encapsulation
  • Reflexology and Aromatherapy
  • Support Groups
  • Practical Support
  • Self Care
  • Legal Care

The decision to take medications during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is very personal. You should consult with your doctor about your concerns.

Below are some websites that contain information about how your baby may be affected by medications taken by the mother:

Books

  • This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleinman
  • Pregnancy Blues: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Depression During Pregnancy by Shaila Misri
  • Down Comes the Rain by Brooke Shields
  • The Mother to Mother Postpartum Depression Support Book By Sandra Poulin
  • Sleepless Days: One Woman’s Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Susan Kushner Resnick
  • Postpartum Depression for Dummies by Shoshana Bennett, PhD
  • The Postpartum Husband: Practical Solutions for living with Postpatrum Depression by Karen Kleinman
  • Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders: Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Health Care Practitioner by Susan Dowd Stone
  • Tokens of Affection: Reclaiming Your Marriage After Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleinman and Amy Wenzel

Websites

PMD Blogs

Useful Printouts

Postpartum Doula Program

The PPHA Postpartum Doula Program provides low-income women who are experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety and/or OCD with 20 hours of free in-home care with a postpartum doula who is specially trained in working with Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). Our studies have shown that 20 hours of work with a postpartum doula can significantly reduce the symptoms of PMADs and increase the quality of life for mother and baby.

What is a Postpartum Doula?

A postpartum doula is a trained professional who provides physical, emotional, informational, and non-medical support to nurture mothers and their families during the period following a baby’s birth. A postpartum doula may provide education and support regarding breastfeeding, newborn care, sibling and family adjustments, meal preparation, and household organization. A postpartum doula may aid in the mother’s understanding of typical physical and emotional changes during the postpartum period. A postpartum doula may encourage the mother or family to seek medical or professional care when necessary, as well as make referrals to appropriate resources in the community.

Postpartum Doula Program Eligibility

  • Diagnosis of a PMAD either through a physician or therapist. If you do not have a diagnosis, please call Beth Thomas at (512) 590-1853 (M-F, 8am-2pm) for screening.
  • Within 12 months of a birth
  • At or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level ($49,000 for a family of 3)

Referral Process

Please contact the program director, Beth Thomas, Mon-Fri, 8am-2pm at (512) 590-1853 or at beth.arthur@gmail.com. Once a mother qualifies for the program, she will be matched with a PPHA Postpartum Doula and will begin receiving 20 hours of in-home care.

Interested in joining our Postpartum Doula team? We’d love to have you! Please fill out our Doula Application and return it to beth.arthur@gmail.com.

PPHA will offer postpartum doula training scholarships in Fall 2017. Stay tuned for the application process and more information. In the meantime, please contact Beth Thomas if you are interested in applying for the scholarship.

Postpartum Psychiatric Voucher

Women who have been identified with a PMAD may be eligible to receive a voucher worth up to $500 to subsidize the costs of out-patient psychiatric care.

Postpartum Psychiatric Voucher Eligibility

  • Diagnosis of a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD), either through their physician or therapist. If you do not have a diagnosis, please call Beth Thomas at (512) 590-1853 (M-F, 8am-2pm) for screening.
  • Within 12 months of a birth
  • At or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Referral Process

  • Clients or their providers may contact Beth Thomas at (512) 590-1853 (M-F, 8am-2pm) for referral and screening.
  • Eligible clients will choose from a list of approved psychiatrists, who guarantee an initial appointment within two weeks.
  • The psychiatrist will bill the client for 50% of the cost of the visits. PPHA will pay for the remaining 50%, up to $500. The voucher does not cover medications.
  • The client’s portion of the bill may be submitted to insurance for potential reimbursement.