Berkeley Lab

Maternal Mental Health Awareness

Did you know? 1 in 5 new moms may have strong feelings of sadness, anxiety (worry), or tiredness. These feelings are part of a medical condition known as perinatal depression. It is one of the most common complications that can happen during pregnancy and after childbirth. Perinatal depression can be treated. Yet, very few seek treatment.

If you are pregnant or gave birth within the last year, be sure to talk to your doctor about anything that does not feel right to you. Do not wait until your postpartum checkup. You know your body best.

Please don’t ignore any concerns you might have. It could be physical, but you should also bring up feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. It is especially vital to reach out to your doctor if it gets hard to take care of yourself or your baby on a daily basis. Your baby’s well-being and growth are tied to your physical and emotional health. Your mental health matters.

Click here for a guide to help you share any of your concerns with your doctor.

UC Health plans offers web and mobile tools to support your mind, body, and spirit. myStrength is a confidential online resource, tailored to help improve your mood. The program provides a variety of self-help tools designed to help empower you to become – and stay – mentally and physically healthy.

Visit and sign up today! After setting up an online account, download the myStrength app for your iOS and AndroidTM device and sign up using the same email and password.

After you talk to your doctor, these mental health and well-being tips may help as well:

  1. Connect with other moms, or join a parent support group.
  2. Set aside time for yourself.
  3. Practice breathing exercises if you feel stressed.
  4. Ask for help from someone you trust.
  5. Rest when your baby rests.
  6. Be with others, and seek out family and friends who can provide comfort.

If you need immediate help, call 9-1-1. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to get free and confidential emotional support.

Berkeley Lab Support Resources:

Be Well at Work – Employee Assistance Program – for help finding a counselor or therapist

Be Well at Work is run by UC Berkeley Health Services and also serves Berkeley Lab employees.

The Employee Assistance Program provides no cost confidential counseling and referral for Berkeley Lab employees. The program is available to employees, and their families and dependents. The services are completely voluntary and there is no fee for services.

Be Well at Work – Parenting Support Group

Working from home, working without adequate or any childcare, distance learning, home schooling, college students at home, and being with your children 24/7 are only a few of the challenges parents face during COVID 19. Join UC Berkeley’s Be Well at Work‘s parenting support group, Supporting Parents and Caregivers of Children. The group meetings will be topic based to provide a focus. The format will consist of a brief introduction to the topic by Leslie Bell, PhD, LCSW, BWAW Employee Assistance Counselor, and Karen Patchell, MA, BWAW Program Manager, followed by discussion and Q & A. The group will meet virtually on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month.

And visit the My Family@Berkeley Lab for more information.



(0riginal content from UC/Health Net email on July 14, 2021)

Photo by M.T ElGassier on Unsplash