The Importance Of Maternal Health Month (May!)

The Importance Of Maternal Health Month (May!)

May is designated as Maternal Health Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges faced by mothers worldwide and advocating for their well-being. This observance is not just a celebration of motherhood but a crucial reminder of the importance of ensuring maternal health and rights.

The History:

Maternal Health Month has its roots in long-standing global efforts to improve maternal health outcomes. The idea of dedicating an entire month to maternal health gained traction in the early 21st century, spurred by the recognition of the high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity worldwide. The United Nations, through its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and later the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), emphasized the need to address maternal health as a critical component of global development.

In the United States, the significance of maternal health has been recognized through various initiatives and legislation over the years. Maternal Health Month serves as a reminder of the progress made and the work still to be done to ensure that all mothers have access to quality healthcare before, during, and after pregnancy.

The Importance:

Maternal health is not just a women’s issue; it’s a societal issue. Healthy mothers are the cornerstone of healthy families and communities. Yet, around the world, millions of women still lack access to essential maternal healthcare services, leading to preventable deaths and complications.

Of particular importance to Galvin Growth Group, is the prevalence of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), which can often go undiagnosed and untreated.

Here are some facts about Maternal Health Month and PMADs:

  • Globally, as many as 1 in 5 new mothers experience at least one perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). PMADs include postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum bipolar, and postpartum psychosis.
  • Perinatal mood disorders affect the entire family. About 1 in 10 dads develop depression during this time and are more likely to develop depression when there is a maternal perinatal mood disorder present. An integrated approach to family mental health allows both parents to move beyond the postpartum period as a thriving family unit.
  • Increasing awareness helps drive social change to improve the quality of care for women experiencing PMADs, and reduce the stigma around maternal mental illness.

While Maternal Health Month provides a dedicated time to focus on maternal health, the work doesn’t end when May is over. Ensuring maternal health requires year-round commitment and action from individuals, communities, governments, and organizations.

Galvin Growth Group is proud to have four therapists with training to support individuals experiencing PMADs. If you are experiencing difficulties during pregnancy or postpartum, we are here to help! Contact us to be connected with one of our therapists. We also have a free support group on Thursdays at 1pm on Zoom. Contact us for the link to register.