This year for my birthday I am asking all of you to contribute to a cause that I feel strongly about. Having both of my babies so close to my birthday, what better way to celebrate than with a birthday donation to the Alexis Joy Foundation.
The Alexis Joy Foundation has a mission “to be a shining light for women and families suffering from and affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders spanning, but not limited to, infertility, postpartum depression, and infant and child loss.” They are working to raise awareness, educate the public and develop programs for those effected.
This is something I admire and want to support as I have been effected, but also blessed to have come through on the other side. I want all women to feel comfortable talking and asking questions about depression and anxiety. I also want all women to know that it is not only okay to experience this, but there are ways to aid in prevention and ways to find healing and get past it.
Having a baby puts a woman’s body through an endless list of changes. These side effects could be anything from luscious locks to uncontrollable anxiety. There are a number of changes that are positive. Unfortunately, there are just as many or more that are negative. This includes depression and anxiety.
I struggled with both of these prior to getting pregnant. I remember having symptoms even in my early childhood. It was something I didn’t feel comfortable talking about until well into adulthood. Even now, I know there is a stigma associated with depression and anxiety which make it difficult for anyone, including myself, to be completely honest about.
Although I have not experienced either of these severely, they have both greatly impacted my life. For this reason, I was and still am cautious of any increased risks that either could creep back into my life. I know that the hormones and major adjustments pregnancy brings on make me more susceptible. Because of this, I have and continue taking steps to be able to recognize oncoming symptoms and do what I can to prevent it.
With or without a history, 15-20% of women are effected by postpartum depression. It’s hard to catch, hard to talk about and hard to handle. I believe that one of the major issues is that it is not talked about enough.
Please join me in supporting the Alexis Joy Foundation this year for my birthday.