In this week’s installment of #MaternalMondays, Dr. Tanya Royster, Director of DC’s Department of Behavior Health, met with a trio of local maternal health leaders at Maketto on H Street NE.

The group discussed the importance of managing mothers’ emotional health in the perinatal period: before, during, and after pregnancy. In particular, the four women stressed the importance in removing the stigma around mental health, whether exhibited as baby blues, postpartum anxiety, or postpartum depression.

Mothers cannot adequately care for their children without attention to their own emotional wellness. Honest discussion with other moms helps new mothers, but mothers should also feel empowered to engage in open dialogue with healthcare providers, especially if feelings of isolation and overwhelming sadness persist beyond the first few weeks postpartum.