Maternal Mental Health

Early Screening, treatment and support for mothers affected by maternal depression strengthen families and promote healthy development of young children. First 5 Fresno County investments aim to reduce stigma and improve maternal mental health.

Maternal depression is the most common complication of childbearing; yet it remains a stigmatized subject resulting in lack of diagnosis and barrier for accessing treatment.

First 5 Fresno County and other community partner organizations are working together to increase awareness and decrease barriers to care for mothers impacted by maternal depression.

The Perinatal Mental Health Integration Project provides training and support to community partners about postpartum depression and offers screening and consultation services to pregnant and postpartum women.

Mothers, children and families suffer when depression is untreated.

Signs & Symptoms

Proven Ways to Help

Signs and Symptoms of Maternal Depression

MothersInfants/Young Children
Frequent uncontrollable cryingLess eye contact
Decrease or increase in appetiteBecome withdrawn, irritable or inconsolable
Lack of interest in the baby Fewer vocalizations
Unable to care for the baby/familyExpresses little/no enjoyment in interaction
Limited positive interaction with the babyDifficulty in relating to others and trusting adults
Sleep difficultiesDelayed language development
Feeling hopelessLower activity level
Feeling unable to copeLimited exploration of the environment
Fear of harming child or selfDisplay of sober, sad or flat affect
Moderate to high anxiety Displays insecure attachment and behavioral problems
Not enjoying life as much as in the past
Low energy

Proven Ways to Help

MothersInfants/Young ChildrenFamily
Early recognition Having a consistent, emotionally available and responsive caregiver Information and support for husband and/or significant other
Peer support Developmental stimulationFamily oriented therapeutic intervention
Appropriate treatmentExposure to positive emotion
Respite careSafe environment