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International organization asks parents to share their maternal health story

FILE - A doctor uses a hand-held Doppler probe on a pregnant woman to measure the heartbeat of the fetus on Dec. 17, 2021, in Jackson, Mississippi. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Many people are preparing to honor Moms for Mother’s Day in May — National Maternal Mental Health Month.

Postpartum Support International, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is asking women to share their stories.

The organization was founded by a new mother named Jane Honikman in 1987 to increase awareness about the emotional difficulties women can experience during and after pregnancy. 

“While many parents experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety,” stated the organization’s website.

Researchers also said the disorder is believed to impact one in five women and one in 10 men. Many people experience depression or anxiety during the perinatal period, which includes pregnancy, post-loss, and 12 months postpartum.

Experts suggest that although Perinatal Mental Health Disorders affect 800,000 people a year, many people suffer in silence because only 25% get treatment. 

In a news release, PSI said, “To spread awareness of perinatal mental health disorders and combat stigma and shame, PSI is encouraging people to wear a blue dot pin or sticker to show their solidarity and support.”

Pregnant and postpartum parents can call the PSI Helpline for support and resources at 1-800-944-4773, text “help” to 1-800-944-4773 (English), 971-203-7773 (Spanish), or visit