My Doula Journey: Birth #2, Part 2

The 5:45 am drive to the hospital was surreal. The city (Birmingham, AL...a noticeably dangerous place to give birth) was quiet and still on a chilly Saturday morning in February. The sun was just beginning to light the downtown landscape in pinks and oranges. We drove quietly; my husband, still groggy from a half-night’s sleep, and me, feeling listless, defeated. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I silently breathed through them as he pulled into the valet and let me out to sit in the waiting area...

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Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Personal Story

I am a birth doula with first-hand experience in Postpartum Depression (PPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and ongoing bouts of anxiety. With every family I serve, I seek to stress the importance of learning how to recognize the signs of depression and other Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). Once thought of as an extreme case of the “baby blues,” we now know that Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect at least 1 in 7 pregnant women. Women with clinical depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy or the year following childbirth account for a much larger portion of society than just a seldom “extreme case.” ...

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