Postpartum Series Part Two: No More Postpartum Silence
Bringing home a newborn involves a variety of stressors. New parents must learn how to feed, care for and console a new child … all while contending with sleep deprivation, fluctuating hormones, cultural expectations around parenthood and, in many cases, an imminent return to work.
Stress and anxiety are so common for new parents that symptoms of more serious postpartum mental health concerns are often overlooked. And as with any mental illness, experiences with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and other postpartum mental health issues are stigmatized and frequently met with silence.
Host Anita Rao speaks with visual artist A’Driane Nieves about her experience of being diagnosed with bipolar II disorder after the birth of her second child, and about how painting became an important means of breaking the silence around postpartum mental health. Rao then speaks with Shannon Purdy Jones, co-owner of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, about how a traumatic experience with bodyfeeding contributed to her postpartum depression. Darren Jones, Shannon’s husband and the director of pricing at Mack Trucks, Inc, speaks about navigating postpartum mental health concerns as a non-birthing partner.
Thank you to all the voice note contributors for trusting us with their stories and helping to shape this episode: Kyesha Jennings, Taylor Matthews, Elice, Jamie, Brianna Battles, Nick Knittel, Kate Gardner, Amanda Magnus, Priyanka Rao, Anna Wallace and BB Ware.
Three Ways to Show up for Postpartum Folks
- Don’t come over just to “visit.” When you’re visiting someone who’s in their postpartum period, don’t expect to be entertained. Bring a meal, offer to help with laundry or dishes and be considerate of their pumping or nursing schedules.
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