When I became a doula, it was important to me to support women in the…
We don’t need to tell you this, but there is no guidebook to healing after birth and finding your footing as a new (or multi-child) mama. It’s entirely up to you.
To find your answers. Is it normal for my C-section scar to still hurt?
To find your solutions. Where do I find a lactation consultant?
To find your community. I guess this friend text thread is my lifeline.
To find your support. Do I need a therapist?
To find the courage to speak your truth. Honestly, I’m not ok.
When you’re physically wounded, mentally overwhelmed, and emotionally imbalanced (thank you, hormones), taking the lead on your own self-care is wildly challenging. It’s no wonder so many women suffer from postpartum depression and/or anxiety, physical pain or dysfunction, and unprocessed trauma from birth itself—often in silence.
Even more concerning? Over 50% of maternal fatalities occur within the postpartum period. Over 50%! Largely because doctors are leaving the onus on the mother to navigate her healing journey solo. A scheduled 6-week visit is not enough to help her through some of her biggest challenges, and even life-threatening symptoms.
Thankfully, there are a number of organizations that have been shining a light on these issues and continue playing a vital role in transforming maternal care. Whether you need support on your postpartum journey or you feel called to get involved in helping other mamas thrive, you need to know about these incredible organizations.
Every Mother Counts. An international organization devoted to improving access to quality, respectful and equitable maternity care in the United States and developing countries like Haiti, Guatemala, and Tanzania.
“Despite spending more money per capita on maternal health than any country in the world, the U.S. ranks a shocking 55th in maternal deaths. It is the only high-resource nation with a consistently rising maternal mortality rate, and disparities are rampant. We invest in and amplify maternity care models that advance birth justice by taking a rights-based approach to improving health outcomes and ensuring that all people can give birth with dignity and respect, all while placing women at the center of the equation.”
Postpartum Support International. An organization devoted to increasing awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum and promotes prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide.
“Approximately 15% of all women will experience postpartum depression following the birth of a child. Up to 10% will experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy. When the mental health of the mother is compromised, it affects the entire family. It is the vision of PSI that every woman and family worldwide will have access to information, social support, and informed professional care to deal with mental health issues.”
National Partnership for Women & Families. An organization on a mission to improve the lives of women and their families by achieving equality for all women. They’ve played a role in legislation like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Family & Medical Leave Act, family leave programs, and more.
“We ground ourselves in the lived experience of women and families, particularly those who face the greatest barriers to equity and opportunity. We focus on issues that increase equity, health, and economic justice and how they impact women’s ability to thrive and fully participate in our society.”
The Motherhood Center of New York. An organization that provides services for new and expecting moms who are suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and additional resources to transition into motherhood.
“Staffed by experienced professionals, we take an interdisciplinary approach to tackling pre- and post-natal care, PMADs, and everything in between.”
4Kira4Moms. An organization devoted to advocating for improved maternal health policies and regulations, to educate the public about the impact of maternal mortality in communities, provide peer support to the victim’s family, friends, and promote the idea that maternal mortality should be viewed, and discussed as a human rights issue.
“Kira Johnson tragically lost her life after a routine c-section at Cedars Sinai. Kira was allowed to bleed internally for more than 10 hours before the medical staff at Cedars Sinai took action. We fight to make sure this never happens to another mother. More women die in the United States each year than in any other civilized country in the world.”
Moms Rising Together. An on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people working to achieve economic security for all moms, women, and families in the United States. From paid family leave to affordable childcare to hiring discrimination, MomsRising is on it!
“We take on the most critical issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots actions.”
New Moms. An organization that partners with families to construct the foundation of well-being. They do this by strengthening core life skills, incorporating early childhood development support, building pathways to prepare for education and employment, and expanding positive social networks and access to community resources.
“Living in poverty and experiencing scarcity can impact brain development and take a toll on long-term individual and community health. Although 97% of the young families that come to New Moms are experiencing poverty, all of them seek a future of shared prosperity with their children.”
While there is still so much work to do to ensure every birthing person gets the care she deserves postpartum, we are making progress. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Here’s to continuing to fight for what we deserve—for ourselves, for our babies, for our families, and for our communities.