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Maternal Mental Health
Rethinking Postpartum Care | Sara Reardon | TEDxLSU

Rethinking Postpartum Care | Sara Reardon | TEDxLSU

How often do people talk about vaginas? Pelvic floor physical therapist Sara Reardon argues that it should be more often, and not simply for shock value. She is on a mission is to change the way we care for women and their vaginas. In this insightful and at times funny talk, Sarah shares stories by women struggling through treatable postpartum health issues, highlights the broader impacts lack of postpartum care can have on society, and reminds us that having open conversations about health promote stronger and happier women - itself a worthy end goal. Sara Reardon wants to revolutionize the way we approach women’s health, with a radical honesty and open discussion of often-taboo topics. The board-certified women's health physical therapist and doctor of physical therapy started her career in pelvic health in Austin and Dallas before returning to her hometown of New Orleans in 2017. Today she is the owner of NOLA Pelvic Health, a private practice providing pelvic health physical therapy. Sara specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, including pelvic pain, bowel and bladder dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and pregnancy and postpartum recovery. She is also the founder of an online resource for pelvic health education that provides telehealth sessions to support, empower and educate women worldwide. Her open and occasionally blunt discussions of rarely discussed women’s health issues have gained her a substantial international following while serving to shine a light on important, and issues of wellness. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders are real, common and treatable. You deserve to feel better. The following resources can help.

In addition to the online info above, you can Call or Text Postpartum Support International HelpLine

Call 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD) (English and Spanish)

Text 503-894-9453

Available 24 hours a day, you will be asked to leave a confidential message and a trained and caring volunteer will return your call or text. They will listen, answer questions, offer encouragement and connect you with local resources as needed. Here are some of the local wellness resources in Napa that may help you.

The Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau developed Depression During and After Pregnancy: A Resource for Women, Their Families, and Friends. This colorful booklet describes the essentials about depression during and after pregnancy. The booklet is available online in English and Spanish:


English: pregnancyandbeyond/depression/ perinataldepression.pdf

Spanish: pregnancyandbeyond/depression/ ladepresion.pdf


The Federal Office of Women’s Health devel­oped two fact sheets that provide answers to frequently asked questions about depression:

Depression During and After Pregnancy:­tions/our-publications/fact-sheet/depres­sion-pregnancy.pdf Depression: http://www.womenshealth. gov/publications/our-publications/fact­sheet/depression.pdf

The MacArthur Foundation developed the Depression Management Toolkit, a resource designed to help community agencies imple­ment the PHQ-2 and -9 screening tools:

Other tools are available in English and Spanish to screen pregnant and postpartum women for depression: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale: „„

English: Resources/Module2/EPDS.pdf

Spanish: programs/mcah/Documents/MO-CHVP­EPDS-Spanish.pdf ­­

The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Tool: English: latino/pdf/CESD/CESDEN.pdf Spanish: latino/pdf/CESD/CESDSP.pdf c-1

The Shades of Blue Project is dedicated to helping minority women who are suffering from postpartum depression and/or anxiety. We are dedicated to helping women before, during and after child-birth with mental health advocacy, treatment and support. Our goal is to reach women globally helping to restore them mentally, physically and spiritually.

"We all know that having a new baby presents unique challenges, and research shows that couples are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their relationship after a child is born. As much as expecting parents plan and prepare, there is still so much to learn about raising a child while keeping their relationship with their partner intact."

Feeling like you need to talk to someone about how pregnancy, postpartum or parenting experience is affecting you? Resources are available, and it is important that you find a provider who specializes in your area of need. Discuss how you can prepare for the possibility of PPD with your doctor, and know that you are not alone. 

Disclaimer: The care providers available via the links below have demonstrated a special interest in treating and serving families and women experiencing perinatal mental health issues. MotherEd does not recommend any specific provider. Information is posted as a courtesy to assist persons seeking help. While we do our best to keep this information updated, there may have been changes since this information was posted. Always contact the providers to verify all information before making appointments or using services to avoid unexpected fees and ensure that you receive interventions appropriate for your needs.

Postpartum Support International Provider Directory

Psychology Today Therapist Finder

Mothers and Babies is an evidence-based program that has been highlighted as one of the most effective interventions for the prevention of postpartum depression and has a proven record of success. It is guided by cognitive behavioral therapy and attachment theory, and is being scaled throughout the U.S. and internationally.

MOPS gathers and supports moms. They believe in the simple but revolutionary idea that remarkable things happen when moms come together, face to face. That’s why they rally women to come together in their own neighborhoods and help each other through this thing called motherhood, one gathering at a time.


Understanding the ins and outs of sleep in pregnancy and parenthood can enable you to wake at least slightly more well-rested every day. This sleep guide for moms and dads starts with information for pregnant moms and then covers information for parents of newborns. We’ll also provide links to resources that can help you read more, connect with others, and find products that may contribute to your sleep.

One contributing factor to sleep problems is stress. Relaxation activities can help you feel better and man­age stressful times. Try each of these at least once to determine which ones work best for you.

1.Some people find that taking three or four deep breaths—inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth—can help to ease the pace of stressful situations. Some people call this “dragon breathing” or compare it to blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.

2. Some people prefer to close their eyes and imagine themselves in a special place. Recalling the sounds and smells that are associated with this place—for example, the waves breaking on the beach or the smell of the ocean breeze—can help to refocus your mind on more positive times.

3. Some people like to focus on tensing and then relaxing different parts of their bodies as a way to relax. Starting with your feet, squeeze your toes together really tight and then relax them. Next, do the same thing with your calves, and then move all the way up your body.

Several websites discuss these different activities:

Relaxation Exercises (http://www. These exercises are designed to help reduce stress of families and staff involved with the Early Head Start and Head Start programs. This series of exercises is available in English and Spanish.

Free Guided Meditations ( The Mindfulness Center at the University of California–Los Angeles offers an extensive series of relaxation activities that are available free, either by listening online or downloading from iTunes.

Military families face unique stressors that make them more susceptible experiencing perinatal mood disorders.  Our Volunteer Support Coordinators are available to offer peer support, information, and resources for military families. Please click on the link above, find your branch and contact one of our dedicated volunteers.  You are not alone.


If you're pregnant and do not feel you can care for your baby, or if you have a baby you cannot care for, click on

  • First, locate your state on the state finder map.

  • Second, read about the law in your state. It's important you pay attention to the locations in your state that will take babies.

  • Third, bring your unharmed baby to one of those locations.

It's safe. It's anonymous. It's an option you and your baby can live with.

Baby Safe Haven Program—a project of the National Safe Haven Alliance

In 1999, a group of dedicated people worked together to create a law that would guarantee no mother ever had to secretly dispose of her newborn infant. This law would protect the mother and assure her that she would not be prosecuted for relinquishing her baby. So long as the baby was safe and given to a responsible adult at a designated location, the mother would be free to go anonymously.

Since its inception, over 2,000 babies are known to have been positively impacted by the Baby Safe Haven program.

California’s Safe Surrender for Newborns Law

Senate Bill 1368, The Safe Arms / Safe Haven for Newborns Law Explained

The ‘Safe Arms ~ Safe Haven for Newborns’ law allows a parent to “safely surrender” their unwanted newborn within 3 days of birth to an employee at any hospital emergency department, most fire stations or other designated “safe havens” in California, without the fear of arrest or prosecution, as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected.

This is a NO NAME REQUIRED law when the baby is surrendered. A bracelet will be placed on the baby for identification and a matching bracelet will be given to the parent. The bracelet will help connect the parent to the baby if they wish to reclaim the baby within the 14-day “cooling off” period. The baby will be given medical treatment and placed in a foster or foster-adopt home. This is a lifesaving law, but only if people know that it exists.



What we are reading

There are many books about being pregnant and giving birth, but none focus on the emotional component of transitioning to motherhood and how to set yourself up for success during maternity leave.

Look no further working moms-to-be, this Maternity Leave guide is what you’ve been waiting for. Written for the busy professional, this handbook has everything you need in one place, and you can easily digest it in a single sitting.

strong as a mother.jpg

"I knew from the beginning that I had a good shot at postpartum depression if I gave birth again. My first bout with crippling postpartum anxiety propelled me into a career of writing about maternal mental health, so I knew my history increased my odds. Still I was stunned when the panic slammed into me moments after my second child made her exit from my bloated, pregnant body."

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