Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety (PRD) is the most common problem of pregnancy, affecting about one in seven women in the United States. PRD can occur at any time during pregnancy and/or within the first year of having a baby. It may also happen after a pregnancy loss or adopting a baby. PRD is different from the "baby blues", which tend to go away on their own within two weeks after the loss or birth of a child. PRD is a serious condition that affects a woman's physical and mental health, and does not usually get better on its own. However, PRD is treatable with self-care, socialsupport from friends and family, counseling and/or medication.
PRD and Parenting
Parenting doesn't always turn out the way we expected, and PRD symptoms can make parenting feel even harder. PRD symptoms may get in the way of feeling close to your baby the way you imagined. Having ideas of things to do with your baby can help. The following links provide tips for interacting with your baby. Trying some of these activities may help you feel better, and can help with your baby's development:
We are improving women's mental health by encouraging health care providers to screen women for PRD during prenatal doctor visits (before giving birth), postpartum doctor visits (after giving birth), and at well child visits. Several different tools can be used to check for PRD, including the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire. Screening helps to start the conversation about PRD, identify symptoms early and discuss options to treat PRD symptoms when needed. These results are confidential, just like the rest of your medical record, so try to be honest with your doctor.
Many resources are available to help women with PRD. Please reach out if you or someone you love could use help.
One of the best ways to determine the health and well-being of our community is to guarantee the health of babies in their first year of life. Many factors influence this, including the health of the mother, the father and the overall well-being of the community in which they live. We are focused on saving babies because everyone deserves a first birthday!
Safe Sleep for Babies
Where your baby sleeps is something you will think about many times a day.
In the United States, about 3,500 babies die each year due to unsafe sleep. In Denver, babies born to black women are three times more likely to die before their first birthday than infants born to white (non-Hispanic) women. Infants born to Hispanic women are two times more likely to die before their first birthday than infants born to white (non-Hispanic) women.
Learn more about making sure all babies are able to celebrate their first birthday, and see tips on keeping your baby safe while they are sleeping:
A note about language: The term breastfeeding is intended to describe the action of human milk feeding between a parent or caregiver and child. This term may be used interchangeably with “chestfeeding,” as an alternate option for lactating individuals who prefer not to use the term “breast” to describe their bodies.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest option for parents and babies. When babies breastfeed for longer, they receive valuable protection against many chronic conditions, including unhealthy weight status, cancer and diabetes. However, many breastfeeding families face obstacles that make a difference in how long babies are breastfed. These include lack of knowledge, lack of support, returning to work or school, the absence of paid leave policies, healthcare practices, social and cultural norms, marketing of infant formula and more.
The World Health Organization and all major medical organizations in the United States promote breastfeeding for optimal child health and development. The World Health Organization recommends babies receive only breast milk for the first 6 months, and that parents and babies continue breastfeeding as long as they want to. The longer breastfeeding occurs, the more health benefits parents and baby receive.
In Colorado, approximately 90% of infants start out breastfeeding. Yet only 25% are exclusively breastfed for 6 months and just over 40% are breastfed for a full year. Among lower income families and non-white communities, breastfeeding rates are even lower. In particular, non-Hispanic Black families have the lowest rates of initiation, duration and exclusivity.
Disproportionate rates of breastfeeding among Black families’ stems from historical and generational trauma in breastfeeding, resulting in cultural norms of formula feeding, and a lack of social and peer support. In addition, Black individuals are underrepresented in the field of lactation, have fewer forms of positive imagery and breastfeeding modeling, and Black newborns are nine times more likely to be given formula in hospitals than White newborns. For more information, The Center for African American Health recently published a report on disparities and the state of Black breastfeeding in Colorado 2021.
We can help you and are proud to provide:
Technical support and coaching
Printed materials (breastfeeding laws, educational materials, work space guidelines, etc.)
Staff training (PDIS and continued child care certification training)
Limited funding to support lactation spaces (breast pumps, lactation space supplies, etc.)
Connections to statewide partners and resources
For more information about creating breastfeeding friendly spaces please contact Mandy Feeks at Amanda.Feeks@dhha.org, or visit our Breastfeeding Friendly Environments page to lean more about how PHIDH promotes and supports breastfeeding friendly policies and practices within businesses, organizations, and public areas so that they are welcoming to all families that are breastfeeding.
The aim is to collaborate with local and regional partners to create a seamless system of lactation support, expand access to community and culturally relevant lactation professionals, and increase the number of breastfeeding friendly environments by driving policy and systems changes within businesses, public spaces, child care and medical offices.