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Postpartum Progress Inc. (PPI) is improving the health and wellbeing of women and children by increasing access to and quality of support for women with postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth.

While approximately 20% of pregnant & postpartum women suffer perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, only 15% of them ever receive professional treatment. Without such help, the long-term health of both mother and child may be harmed. Postpartum Progress is working hard to ensure that mothers will:

1) Recognize when they are suffering and be open to treatment;

2) Know how and where to seek help;

3) Feel safe and comfortable asking for help, and

4) Have effective services and support available to them.

We focus on the use of readily-available and accessible low-cost technology and social networks to inform and help women, and on marshaling resources by collaborating with others to create new programs and services. Our projects are grounded in evidence-based medicine, easy to access, easy to understand, interactive and personally relevant. We believe all women should have access to the best information and help, regardless of their socio-economic status or geographical location.

National Awareness

postpartum-depression-awarenessPPI is already changing the way women view perinatal mood and anxiety disorders with its unique attitudinal framework and positive imagery via the Warrior Mom. We plan to continue that work by developing a national awareness campaign that includes advertising, public service announcements and social media.

We know that stigma and lack of awareness remain significant barriers to treatment for women with PPD.

“Stigma is a major barrier to seeking mental health treatment. Both self stigma (people’s own responses to depression and help-seeking) and perceived stigma (perceptions of others’ negative responses) partially account for people’s reluctance to seek treatment (Barney et al., 2006; Halter, 2004). Many people are not familiar with treatment options, there is stigma associated with mental health treatments and many providers are not aware of their patients’ preferences (Dwight-Johnson et al., 2000; Givens at al., 2007; Jaycox et al. 2006).”[1]

In terms of awareness, women still aren’t receiving the information they need. In a recent poll conducted by Postpartum Progress, we found that when it comes to childbirth education alone:

  • 56% of participants said “I didn’t receive any information in my childbirth class about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like PPD”
  • 22% of participants said “My childbirth class quickly reviewed perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but did not offer enough information for me to recognize what was wrong when I became ill”

We know that various regional awareness campaigns have been conducted to some degree or another, including New Jersey’s Speak Up for Moms. We feel, based on input from thousands of mothers and the current treatment rate, that much more needs to be done. We believe we are the right organization to develop a national awareness campaign, with a board that features several consumer marketing experts.

PPI is currently working to develop compelling awareness campaign concepts. The goal of our campaign will be to reduce stigma and increase the percentage of women who seek treatment. Want to help us fund production and the media buy for this important campaign? Email us at postpartumprogress [at] gmail [dot] com.