In July, I went to the Postpartum Support International Conference in New Orleans, LA. My friend Tina from my DNP program tagged along and we had a lot of fun exploring New Orleans between the various lectures we attended.
In retrospect, the conference isn’t geared towards providers and there really weren’t a lot of obstetric providers in attendance. I saw far more social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurse practitioners, licensed counselors, etc.
But I took away A LOT of knowledge and resources that I didn’t know about. Today’s post is a recap of all those resources in case you, a friend or another provider need an update on what’s new in mental health resources. Let’s dive in.
1. How to contact Postpartum Support International
There are a few ways to contact and use the organization’s resources. These are valuable to providers and mamas:
- Website: https://www.postpartum.net/
- Help Line: 1-800-944-4773*
- Anyone can leave a confidential message any time of day and a trained volunteer will return your call or text.
- Text (English): 1-800-944-4773*
- Text (Spanish) 1-971-420-0294*
- For Providers – Perinatal Psychiatric Consult Line: 1-877-499-4773***a free consultation line for questions about mental health care related to pregnancy, postpartum and preconception planning***
*Not for emergencies; for people in crisis, please contact your local emergency services/departments.
Launched in summer 2022, the hotline is a “free, confidential support before, during, and after pregnancy. The Hotline offers callers:
- Phone or text access to professional counselors
- Real-time support and information
- Response within a few minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Referrals to local and telehealth providers and support groups
- Culturally sensitive support
- Counselors who speak English and Spanish
- Interpreter services in 60 languages”
Call or text, 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746) to connect with counselors at the
National Maternal Mental Health Hotline.
Providers, consider putting one of the hotline’s promotional images up in one of your clinic’s bathroom (pictured above). Mamas, consider sharing this with a mama or friend that is struggling.
Star Legacy is the nation’s leader in prevention and care of pregnancy loss, stillbirth and neonatal death. The organization has a wealth of resources worth exploring. As a provider, sometimes you aren’t sure what to do, say or offer to mamas and families that have lost a baby. This is a great place to start for your own education and tangible resources for your families.
Also, for nurses that work with bereaved families, there’s a private facebook group for you to join! Search “Perinatal Nursing – Bereavement Care.”
- About Stillbirth
- Caring for Patients Who Experience Stillbirth: Dos and Don’ts (some great tips for providers)
- How Family and Friends Can Help
- Information about Lactation After a Loss
- Resources for Providers
- Virtual Support Groups for Families Experiencing Loss
I particularly loved this little bit of education on what not to say:
“Avoid statements that minimize their emotions, tell them how to feel, or rely on religion (unless you are certain it is how the family is feeling). For example:
- It’s probably for the best
- God only takes the best
- It would have been worse if …
- Now you have an angel
- You’re young and can have more
- This is just like when ….
- This is how God takes care of his mistakes
- There must have been something wrong with the baby
- Your baby is lucky to be in heaven
- At least he/she didn’t suffer
- Once you can ____, it won’t seem so bad
- You’ll be a parent someday
- At least you didn’t know him/her”
Want to follow this organization? Sign up for their newsletter here.
These ladies were so sweet and clearly passionate about their mission at the conference. Dear NICU Mama exists to celebrate you, your baby and your unique NICU journey.
How many mamas have babies in the NICU and we don’t have a resource to point them towards?
Enter this organization. One of their main efforts is to allow NICU mamas to submit letters to other NICU mamas with education and encouragement. Read some of their past letters here. Follow this organization on the insta at @dearnicumama. They also have a podcast. And a private facebook group.
Aaliyah in Action is another organization supporting families who have experienced perinatal loss, neonatal loss or infant death. They specialize in sending care packages to mamas experiencing loss. The organization maintains a list of bereavement resources in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia here.
Located in California, this wellness center offers some support groups worth sharing for infertility families. The support groups are FREE (although the time change may be a little tricky). I find that this is something I could add to my infertility management in the clinic. Groups for infertility range from: fertility, secondary infertility, and pregnancy after infertility.
6. 988 Lifeline
We all know 911. Now there’s 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Line. The old number will remain in effect but the shortened version went live in July 2022. The line has received 23 million calls since 2005 and calls have consistently increased over the past three years. Read more about the lifeline here.
Another organization that provides support for loss during parenthood. The organization offers something I haven’t seen before: a support group for hospital or medical providers (physicians, midwives, nurses, social workers, chaplains, doulas…) that meets monthly to provide consultation and support for those involved in families experiencing loss. It’s not surprising, but all these disciplines experience grief, sadness and hardship as we walk with these families.
They also have a great list of Do’s and Don’ts to support bereaved families. This would be a great inservice on a unit.
A national organization committed to providing NICU parents support, education and community during and after their baby’s NICU stay. The group offers support groups, podcasts, counseling and an app.
One of the best presentations at the conference was put on by MMHLA. The presentation was an overview of mental health and reviewed available resources for providers and organizations. This site/organization isn’t meant for individual patients but more for providers, stakeholders or organizations looking for fact sheets and advocacy material.
This is a great desktop reference for providers or even for discharge education:
The website maintains a list of intensive outpatient and inpatient treatment for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders by state (not all states offer services).
The faculty offer weekly virtual rounds for anyone looking for more education or clinical cases on women’s mental health. Register for the weekly Zoom meeting here.
Their blog offers some good reading as well. Their latest post Essentials Reads: Breastfeeding and Anti-Epileptic Drugs was a nice overview for postpartum teaching for some of the mamas I discharge. This post on Cannabis and Breastfeeding was lovely too. I love a good post that cites references!
REPROTOX contains summaries on the effects of medications, chemicals, infections, and physical agents on pregnancy, reproduction, and development. You need an account to access the database, but they have an app as well. The database seeks to over information on substances other than drugs (i.e. occupational chemicals, pesticides, radiation, sound…). Check it out and sign up here.
A lot of these were new resources to me but some were updates to resources I regularly use too.
Hope this adds to your treasure chest of resources.
(Anyone want to share an update on a recent conference they attended? I would love a synopsis like this from another conference…)