Photo credit: Kaleb Hart

Meghan, a mom of two, turned to Maven for guidance on physical and emotional postpartum challenges—including postpartum anxiety. Meghan, who lives in New Hampshire with her three-year-old daughter and six-month-old son, shared how Maven's 24/7 appointments and on-demand care from providers like a lactation consultant and infant sleep coach helped her take charge of her postpartum anxiety. 

An anxiety-provoking postpartum period 

When Meghan’s son was nine weeks old, she found an inguinal hernia on him that required surgery. The stress of her newborn’s upcoming surgery, while raising a toddler and battling mastitis was overwhelming. “The whole thing was really stressful,” Meghan recalls. “At the same time that he was going in for surgery at nine weeks, I had mastitis, and we were having my daughter’s third birthday party, and I was nervous about having people over because of COVID.” Her mastitis left her in debilitating pain and required her to pump every two to three hours, resulting in sleep deprivation. These challenges, along with Meghan’s lack of sleep, triggered intense postpartum anxiety. That’s when Meghan turned to her in-person mental health provider and Maven’s network of providers for support.     

Support for postpartum anxiety  

Meghan accessed Maven through her husband’s benefits and started to explore the app three months after giving birth. Meghan had a mental health provider she was working with and hoped to find in Maven support for the areas of her postpartum experience that were fueling her anxiety. “I needed to wean after mastitis and I was so afraid of hormonal shifts, on top of my postpartum anxiety. That’s when I started messaging a Maven lactation consultant to help me with a plan for weaning,” Meghan explains. “Being able to message someone and talk about my anxiety was huge.” 

“To be able to just stop [googling] and know that I have through Maven this good resource to go to with solid information and people who are tailoring it to my family’s individual experience has been crucial in my postpartum anxiety.” 

Although postpartum anxiety affects an estimated one in five women after giving birth, there is little public awareness about the mood disorder. When Meghan was trying to find a diagnosis, her doctors were screening for postpartum depression, not postpartum anxiety and it took several weeks to find the right diagnosis that fit her symptoms. Symptoms of postpartum anxiety can include disrupted sleep, increased heart rate, racing thoughts, and inability to stay calm, while symptoms of postpartum depression can include excessive crying, depressed mood, overwhelming fatigue, and hopelessness. “I was getting out of bed. The problem was, I wasn’t sleeping and I was in fight or flight all the time. I looked fine to people who don’t know me but I wasn’t fine,” Meghan explained. “I really feel that if more women knew about postpartum anxiety, more women would be able to get help.”

Meghan felt lucky—she was able to quickly gather a team of providers to help address her anxiety. Her postpartum anxiety was mitigated with access to reliable and reassuring communication from trusted sources. “To be able to just stop [googling] and know that I have through Maven this good resource to go to with solid information and people who are tailoring it to my family’s individual experience has been crucial in my postpartum anxiety.” 

Finding comprehensive support and reliable information through Maven

Through Maven’s network of providers and library of clinically-vetted content, Meghan found support tailored to her unique experience. To Meghan, Maven is “a non-judgmental 24-hour resource for every parent,” that she can count on any time of the day or night for answers, assistance, and thoughtful responses. “My doctor was like, ‘You need to stop googling.’ Now I send a lot of messages to my lactation consultant through Maven, and I don’t feel guilty about it, which has really helped,” Meghan said. “There are all these different things online, these information rabbit holes. Those really fuel my anxiety.”  

In addition to her lactation consultant, Meghan has seen a variety of providers for her needs, including an infant sleep coach, a holistic nutritionist, and a physical therapist.

How self-care helped Meghan’s marriage 

Addressing the issues she was having with postpartum anxiety has helped Meghan in every facet of her life—including her relationship with her husband. “My husband knows I use Maven so much and that’s it’s helping me. This has been heavy for him—it’s really helped him to know I have all this support.” Meghan feels that now that they are prioritizing self-care and self-improvement, their conversations have become more open. “We have never been stronger.” 

Meghan’s next step on her Maven journey is returning to work with a healthy routine that works for the whole family. She’s been working with an infant sleep coach to help her with everything from pacifiers at night to transitioning off a dream feed and swaddling. “With my postpartum anxiety and heading back to work soon, sleep is so crucial to my health so being able to talk through that with an infant sleep coach was big,” Meghan explains. The support Meghan receives from Maven and her mental health providers has empowered her and bolstered her confidence. “I feel like I’ve become a better mom and a better person because of it.” 

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