Over a Google Meet, Adrienne Griffen, M.P.P., executive director of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance in Arlington, Virginia, shows two photo collages. The first contains pictures that come up when you search for "having a baby" or "new parents." All of the images have warm lighting, and parents hold their newborns with pure adoration in their eyes.
The second collage shows photos of what you probably won't find when you Google "new baby": heaps of laundry, screaming infants and a toddler meltdown.
New parenthood is often glamorized, but for many people, it's a challenging transition that may come with high rates of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Maternal mental health is not publicized as often as it should be, and the picture that's painted for new parents can be unrealistic.
While there is some awareness of postpartum depression, there is actually a wide variety of perinatal and postpartum disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, perinatal or postpartum psychosis, and perinatal or