Updated: Dec 28, 2021
Discussing Perinatal Wellbeing to remove stigma and breakdown barriers to treatment
The goal of this blog is to open up the conversation around all things Perinatal Mental Health and to provide knowledge, education and support. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and take some time for you.
Let me introduce myself! I'm Christine Cunningham and I'm a therapist and the Owner of Perinatal Wellbeing Ontario. I am very passionate about supporting clients with Perinatal Mental Health issues. What I've found in this work is that so many clients struggle to find a therapist that specializes in Perinatal Mental Health or to even recognize the symptoms of what they're experiencing because a lack of education and screening by healthcare providers.
Stigma around Perinatal Mental Health Issues
The lack of public education and recognition among health-care workers of PMAD's (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders) contributes to the stigma. People who experience a PMAD in the perinatal period often feel isolated, shame and guilt for not "having it all together". If their health care provider doesn't ask them about their mental health, they feel they have no one to reach out to and there is no opportunity to ask for help.
PMAD's can affect the whole family, not only the person going through fertility treatments or pregnancy. I try as best as I can to use gender-inclusive language and to communicate that anyone can develop a PMAD. I also recognize my privilege as a white, cis-gendered woman in this space and my voice is not the only one, which is why I will try to highlight other voices and community organizations who are doing amazing things in the Perinatal field.
Let's open up the conversation
By having authentic and open conversations around Perinatal Mental Health issues we can start to reduce stigma and spread the knowledge. If more people understand what a PMAD is, they can look for those signs and symptoms in themselves and those around them and then seek help as soon as possible.
I will add trigger warnings to my posts and try to make the titles of my blog posts as accurate as possible so if there is a topic you want to avoid, you can do so.
Let's connect and work together to open up the conversation. Feel free to subscribe to my email list so that I can update you on my practice as well as any future workshops, educational sessions and blog posts that I will be releasing. And please share with me any questions or topics that you would like to see discussed on the blog!
If you feel like you are struggling to cope or have experienced anything you read about please feel free to email me or call me at 289-274-8468 for support.