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Montana mothers share stories of postpartum mood disorders to raise awareness

Posted at 8:35 AM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 10:35:02-04

BILLINGS — Jenni Mack and her daughter, Stevie, were said by their medical providers to have gone through a "straightforward" pregnancy and delivery, but about three months into motherhood, Jenni said she began to struggle emotionally.

“I was just sobbing and I was like, ‘I don’t know how I could be so exhausted and not be able to sleep,'" said Jenni.

She said out of being a wife, daughter, sister, and nurse, she is most proud of being a mom, which is why she said she was surprised by her feelings of anxiety surrounding her daughter.

“You might have this idea of how you should feel, but when you don’t feel that way, you kind of feel let down," said Ashley Jones, an Intermountain Health midwife who worked with Jenni through her postpartum mood disorder and pregnancy.

Jones went through her own experiences with postpartum mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, that she said left her feeling guilty but enabled to better help those like Jenni.

“Other women in my family were like, ‘your hormones are already out of balance,’ like, ‘you don’t need to be on anything,'" said Jenni about her experience seeking help.

In the last few weeks, Jenni has weaned off her postpartum anxiety medication and said there is pride and happiness in being a mom.

“Unless people know what you’re going through, they can’t help," said Jones.

Jenni and Jones both said they hope other parents will be willing to share about their experiences and seek help when they feel they need it.