Mental Health Support for African-American Mothers and Mother’s To Be
It’s no secret that we as black folk, but in particular black women, have a lot of mess thrown at us. From colorism within our community, institutionalized racism, medical and mental health professionals not taking our pain serious, to micro aggressions at work, we are constantly in fight or flight mode. That is our stress response systems are constantly activated. The world can feel unsafe for us and this takes a toll on our mental health as well as our physical health. Unfortunately this can even impact our fertility, our pregnancies and deliveries, as well as our parenting.
Most mothers and mothers to be desire to be loving and caring to their babies. You try your best to be attuned to your babies needs and yet you have a lot of fears and worries with often little outlet for those fears and worries. You’re worried about leaving your baby with certain family members because of how those same family members treated you as a child. There is often worry about leaving your baby with your partner because what if they sexually abuse your baby like your father (or mother, grandfather, aunt, cousin, etc) did to you. In your core you feel a strong desire to protect and love your baby so you don’t want to leave them out of your sight. But then you feel frazzled, tired, guilty, and angry. Your identity has changed and you don’t know who you are any more.
As you prepared for pregnancy and subsequently motherhood, you were not prepared for the flood of memories and emotions that came during labor and even after. Again you feel that strong urge to protect your child and you feel unsupported by your loved ones in this as they see you as “doing too much” or “acting crazy”. You are having nightmares, you’re finding yourself snapping at your partner, you feel disconnected from your baby, your not happy and in fact your crying daily multiple times a day sometimes. When you try to discuss what is going on with others or even your doctor you feel unheard and invalidated. You want to be the best mother you can for your baby and not pass down any family trauma.
Your right to be worried. The concerns you have are very real and I’m going to say if your doctor or others in your life aren’t supporting you, I’m sorry. They are wrong. This society just doesn’t take black woman’s pain seriously and I know that it was really hard for you to reach out. Therapy can be a healing experience for you snd even for your baby.
Together we will unpack your own fears and get to the deepest part of yourself. This is where some of your own attachment wounds and traumas reside that are bursting forth now that your a mama. They are calling to be healed and that’s what you are feeling. By tapping into your bodies wisdom and giving your that unmetabolized trauma energy the space to and time to discharge out the body we can tap into your own healing potential. The wisdom is there it just needs a voice. And with this wisdom you can pass it down to your own baby. Be an Island of safety for them in a world that doesn’t honor us as people you and the people you surround your baby with can be little islands of safety and refuge.