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Oregon Family Magazine

Text Support Helps Moms with Postpartum Depression

03/01/2020 15:48 ● By Pilar Bradshaw, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Support is now just a text away for new parents experiencing postpartum depression (PPD) or other perinatal mood disorders. With financial support from Eugene Pediatric Associates, WellMama has launched a text support program that is accessible 24/7. Parents needing help can text the word “Support” to 541-525-0495.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is the No. 1 complication of childbirth. Unlike the “baby blues,” which are mild feelings of sadness, tiredness and worry, postpartum depression causes women to feel extreme depression, anxiety and crushing exhaustion.

It’s estimated that 1 in 4 new mothers in Oregon struggle with postpartum depression or other perinatal (pregnancy and postpartum) mood disorders, and approximately 1 in 10 partners are also affected. If left untreated, these disorders can affect a mother’s mental and physical health for months or years. It can interfere with her ability to connect with and care for her baby, which can impact her newborn’s physical and mental health. 

24/7 text support

WellMama’s text program offers many benefits, including:

  • More accessibility. Parents can text 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and receive a response within 1-4 hours, on average.
  • Accommodating. People struggling with social anxiety have another option to receive support without engaging verbally or face-to-face with someone they do not know, which can be a barrier to accessing WellMama’s support groups or calling its Warm Line.
  • Impactful. The new system will allow for improved follow up, so WellMama can stay connected with parents throughout their recovery.
  • Personalized. WellMama is recruiting and training peer support volunteers, especially from underrepresented groups, to better match parents with a peer support volunteer who understands their unique situation.

At Eugene Pediatrics, we know a baby cannot be well unless the mother is well. That’s why our team of pediatricians, on-site mental health providers and social workers routinely screen for and support moms who suffer from perinatal mood disorders. This text program is one more avenue for which to help parents. Learn more at EugenePeds.com/TextSupport.