Mother’s Day: the one day a year where we collectively step back and honor all of the mothers in our lives – past and present. But between the flowers, brunches, and cards, it’s important to recognize the challenges mothers are facing.
Maternal mental health is in the spotlight now more than ever. And for good reason: up to 20 percent of all women (and nearly 50 percent of women living in poverty) will suffer from a postpartum mental disorder, like postpartum depression. Pregnancy itself is dangerous and potentially traumatic: there’s a rising C-section rate in the U.S. (stemming from 1 in 333 pregnancies resulting in placenta accretta these days). Every day more than 800 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Between one-quarter and one-third of all women report that their childbirth experience was traumatic. Add in the lack of paid maternity leave or access to affordable childcare, and the pressure on a new mom can be crushing. So it’s no wonder that things like postpartum anxiety, depression and other disorders are on the rise.
With May being Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s easy to focus on distressing numbers like those. But we can also shine a light on what’s being done to support mothers during the trying time period that is pregnancy and childbirth.
While my focus is largely on encouraging companies to better support working parents and fighting for paid family leave, there is a close correlation to increasing support at work and paid time off that would allow women to access better care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Therefore I was excited to hear how one company is connecting brands and individuals to nonprofits focused on maternal health — during a time when the need is skyrocketing.
DailyKarma is a Los Angeles-based tech company run by two executives, Melaney Lubey and Patricia Dao, both moms themselves who understand from personal experience the struggles associated with the postpartum period. The company’s mission focuses on providing tools and services for brands to launch cause-marketing campaigns through their e-commerce stores.
Through the Love a Mother campaign, brands are utilizing DailyKarma’s “Shop for Good” Shopify app to encourage customers to donate by instantly rewarding them with incentives as a thank you. If you shop through Hudson + Bleeker, Village Anthology, and Mambino Organics or any of their other 18 brand partners, it’s simple to shop and give back to maternal mental health. This campaign is supporting incredible organizations including:
- The Blue Dot Project (2020 Mom) is working to reduce the shame and stigma of postpartum depression & perinatal mood disorders through advocacy, education & support.
- Every Mother Counts whose mission is to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. In the U.S. we have higher rates of maternal deaths than 45 other countries and we are the only developed country where this rate continues to rise.
- Improving Birth, creating safer births for all, encouraging a shift towards not only focusing on the health of the baby, but also asking #ismomok throughout pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum care.
- Nurse-Family Partnership connecting first-time low-income mothers with personalized in-home support from their network of nurses.
Maternal health has been a focus of Melaney and Patricia from the onset of DailyKarma: they’ve previously launched campaigns to raise money for The Los Angeles March for Moms, as well as to fight postpartum depression. With four children under the age of 5 between the two of them, it may seem crazy that they’re able to run a whole robust philanthropic startup organization too. But their time as mothers has also given them the personal experience necessary to care even more about these particular issues as well as desire to help others give back to the causes they care about.
With Mother’s Day already here, it’s even more important to remember our moms (and the struggles they go through) on every other day of the year. Maternal mental health is a problem year-round, especially with the lack of mandated paid family leave in the U.S. and the rising rate of traumatic births. As a country, we don’t support our mothers the best that we can — through pregnancy, or through the postpartum period.
But for the month of May, we have the opportunity to shine an even brighter light on these issues — and to give back to the organizations leading the fight all year long.
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