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Our main phone line is  505-747-3259. Call us or email us at info@tewawomenunited.org, doulas@tewawomenunited.org or visit the Contact Us page under Help & Support on the Navigation menu above for individual emails. TWU is a collective inter-tribal women’s voice in the Tewa homelands of Northern New Mexico. The name Tewa Women United comes from the Tewa words wi don gi mu which translates to “we are one.” Tewa Women United (TWU) was started in 1989 as a support group for women concerned with various issues including alcoholism, suicide, and domestic and sexual violence. In the safe space women created, we transformed and empowered one another through critical analysis and the embracing and re-affirming of our cultural identity. In 2001 TWU transitioned from an informal, all volunteer group to a formal 501(c)3 non-profit organization.…more

 

 One day. Every person. Our community

We’re counting down to Give Grande New Mexico on May 6, 2014.  On this singe day of giving, Tewa Women United and the Coalition of Community Foundations of New Mexico is joining hundreds of other nonprofit organizations, donors and communities across the country to raise critical funds for local causes, right here in Rio Arriba County.

This is an opportunity unlike any other.  With access to a national pool of funds that will be used to amplify local donations, as well as a national and state media campaign, our community is poised to receive unprecedented levels of support for the causes that people care about.

To make this day a success, we need YOUR HELP.  You can give online at www.givegrandenm.org (it’s fast, easy and secure), and we’d love it if you can help spread the word to your networks.  On that day you will be able to see for yourself what Tewa Women United is raising in real time and you can see what is being raised across the state!

Contact us for more ideas on how to get involved!

Postpartum Depression in Native Women

baby blues
More Than the “Baby Blues”:
   Postpartum Depression in Native Women

by Anne Crabtree

Feelings of sadness, trouble sleeping, and decreased appetite are surprisingly common symptoms that 50 to 80% of women feel after giving birth. These symptoms usually show up a few days after birth. If they do not go away in a week or ten days, however, you may be dealing with something more serious.1 Postpartum depression, or PPD, is a condition seen in women who have just had a baby and are at an increased risk of developing depression or of having pre-existing depression worsen. It is more severe than a few emotional low periods and the risk of depression lasts for several months after birth. It is often made worse by hormonal changes during pregnancy and the stress of taking care of a new baby.2

Besides sleep and appetite problems, women who have PPD may also have restlessness, anxiety, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, low energy and motivation, or unexplained weight loss or gain.1 Pregnant women who have had prior depressive episodes, have symptoms of depression, or have risk factors for depression (family history of depression, financial problems, low self esteem, poor self-rated health, chronic disease, single motherhood, an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, or an abusive partner) are more likely to have depression after pregnancy. Women who abuse alcohol, illegal drugs, or smoke may also be more likely to develop PPD.3 With rates of depression and family histories of depression already running very high among Native Peoples in general today, it would be a good idea for new mothers and pregnant women to see a doctor regularly. This way, it can be determined if counseling is enough or if a combination of therapy and medication is necessary.

Some antidepressants may pass from the mother’s body to her baby’s by way of breast milk, so the effect of medication on a breastfeeding baby must be taken into account. Talk to your doctor to find out the risks and side effects of taking antidepressants during your pregnancy. If you have had suicidal thoughts or plans, you may at least want to consider therapy to make sure that you are keeping yourself and your baby safe. Therapy will also help if you have very negative feelings about your baby, are afraid to be left alone with him/her, worry very much about your baby, do not seem to have much interest in caring for him/her or yourself, or think about hurting yourself or your baby.3

It goes without saying that, if you do not get some form of treatment for the way your are feeling and have no one else who can help you with your baby, she/he may have significant problems later on. She/he may not gain enough weight because of lack of adequate feeding, may become overly irritable, or may have trouble bonding, sleeping, or eating. She or he also may not reach crucial milestones in growth and development or may develop late.4

The importance of a strong support system cannot be understated. Close family members and friends with whom you can be open and honest are very important, especially if your depression is severe and counseling and medication are not enough or the medication is harmful. Family support should not be used as a replacement for all other forms of treatment, however.

PPD is fairly common, but it is also treatable.1 If you think you might have PPD, remember that it does not mean you are or will be a bad mom. If someone you know might have it, you can be there for her as a source of empathy and understanding. It is very important to show her that she is not alone and to let her know that you are someone who does not stigmatize her and will not isolate her. Being available to babysit is also especially helpful so she can have time to herself to relax, rest, or visit her doctor.

 

Sources:

1.”Understanding Postpartum Depression: Common but Treatable.” National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health. News In Health. December 2005.newsinhealth.nih.gov/2005/December2005/docs/01features_02.htm.

 

2. Women and Depression: Discovering Hope. National Institute of Mental Health.www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/women-and-depression-discovering-hope/index.shtml.

 

3. “Postpartum Depression.” Iowa Health System. American Accreditation HealthCare Commission. Sept 4, 2010. www.ihs.org/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=269&action=detail&AEArticleID=007215&AEProductID=Adam2004_1&AEProjectTypeIDURL=APT_1.

 

4. “Complications of Postpartum Depression.” Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Sept. 11, 2012.

Navajo Times “A Call To Men” April 4, 2013

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