October 26, 2021 – HealthyWomen, the nation's leading independent, nonprofit health resource for women, today announced the results from a national survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, sponsored by Sage Therapeutics, Inc., that exposes the realities of maternal mental health and the urgency to help moms put a support system into place during the fourth trimester (the first 12 weeks after a baby is born) – a critical postpartum time frame. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in eight mothers in the United States report symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) each year. The 2021 HealthyWomen survey findings reinforce the need for greater maternal mental wellness planning and support.
According to the survey, while the majority of pregnant women (76%) created a birth plan leading up to their baby's arrival, only 21% created a plan that focused on their own maternal mental health after the baby was born. In addition, most moms reported that it was important to have a group of friends and family to take initiative to support them and believe that sleep and the ability to take time for self-care would be helpful to their mental health and well-being.
"The days and weeks following birth can be a very vulnerable time for moms. They are often so busy with the baby they don't prioritize their own mental health and well-being," said Beth Battaglino, RN-C, CEO of HealthyWomen. "PPD is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy and childbirth. It's important to have a support system in place and for mom and those closest to her to know the signs and symptoms of PPD and seek help if needed. Creating a plan that prioritizes a mom's mental wellness during the fourth trimester and beyond can be just as important as creating a birth plan, but this pivotal preparation isn't taking place."
Additional highlights from the survey include:
- Nine in 10 new moms felt pressure to "do it all" on their own after the baby was born
- Of new moms who said they did not or would not discuss their postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms with anyone, more than one third cited not wanting to "bother anyone" as the reason; other reasons included guilt and embarrassment.
- 84% of people who served in a support role for a new mom said it would have been helpful to have a maternal mental wellness plan that prioritized mom's mental health in the fourth trimester
Preparing for the changes that come with a growing family and having a support system in place are critical to help a mom's mental health and are the goals of Check on Mom, a new program launched by Sage Therapeutics, Inc. Research shows that moms are more likely to experience PPD if they receive no support or minimal support from family, friends or community after the birth than women who receive appropriate support. Other risk factors of PPD include family history of depression, increased stressors and hormone changes related to pregnancy.
Check on Mom provides information and resources to help women prepare for and get the support they may need during the fourth trimester, including a tool to help create a maternal mental wellness plan that captures each mom's needs and postpartum priorities; an opportunity to designate a group of trusted friends and family (a mom team) to help her through the postpartum period and who can receive a bracelet as a wearable reminder to keep checking in during the fourth trimester and beyond; and access to ongoing inspirational content, helpful information, and tips. This program does not replace having discussions with a healthcare provider, who is the best resource for individual medical advice.
To sign up and learn more about Check on Mom and how to proactively prepare for the fourth trimester, visit MyCheckOnMom.com.
About the Survey
In August 2021, HealthyWomen conducted an online survey in the United States of more than 1,000 new moms of children under 2, pregnant women over the age of 18, and care partners.
About Sage Therapeutics, Inc.
Sage Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel therapies with the potential to transform the lives of people with debilitating disorders of the brain. We are pursuing new pathways with the goal of improving brain health and our depression, neurology and neuropsychiatry franchise programs aim to change how brain disorders are thought about and treated. Our mission is to make medicines that matter so people can get better, sooner. For more information, please visit www.sagerx.com.
HealthyWomen is the nation's leading independent, nonprofit health information source for women. Its mission is to educate women to make informed health choices for themselves and for their families by providing objective, research-based health information. For 30+ years, millions of women have turned to HealthyWomen for answers to their most personal healthcare questions. To learn more, please visit www.HealthyWomen.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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