a photo of a parent and a child

#GiveLocal: 5 Questions with PPMHLC

Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health of Lancaster County (PPMHLC) is the Lemon Street Market #GiveLocal partner for the rest of February. We caught up with Alison Pidgeon, PPMHLC Co-Chair to chat about why an organization like this is so important for building healthy families. When customers opt to round up at the register, all proceeds will be donated to PPMHLC in order to support individuals experiencing postpartum mood disorders.

How is PPMHLC serving the families of Lancaster County?

Our charity fund was specifically created to support pregnant and postpartum moms in Lancaster County, so every dollar that we raise stays local. The fund specifically provides mental health counseling and postpartum doula support for moms who otherwise couldn’t afford it. One of our other goals is to train healthcare providers to screen pregnant and postpartum moms for these mental health issues, because little screening is done in the healthcare system, unfortunately.

What’s the most misunderstood aspect of perinatal mood disorders? 

Most people don’t realize that these disorders are incredibly common. 1 in 7 women will have postpartum depression and it is even more common that women will experience postpartum anxiety. For the vast majority of women, if they get treatment they will recover fairly quickly. The horror stories you see on the TV news of moms who are psychotic and harm their children are very rare and unfortunately that is the stereotype that people think of when we talk about postpartum depression. In reality, moms are usually doing a great job taking care of the babies, but it is a struggle for them to make it through the day and they don’t feel like themselves.

What should individuals who are experiencing postpartum stress do?

Talk to your doctor and/or seek out counseling. Sometimes women feel caught in a loophole in the healthcare system because when they go talk to their OB-GYN they are often referred to their family doctor. So they go see the family doctor and because it’s postpartum depression or anxiety, they get referred back to the OB-GYN. You can imagine how, when a woman is already struggling, being juggled between healthcare providers usually results in her giving up and not getting treatment. My best advice is advocate for yourself, or have a loved one advocate for you until you get the help that you need.

Why does Lancaster need an organization like PPMHLC?

There is no other charity like this that exists in this area. There are few services to support moms during the time of pregnancy and postpartum so even moms that can afford it, may not be able to find treatment close by. We hope that by training healthcare providers more women will be identified and as a result healthcare systems will recognize they need to provide more specific services for pregnancy and postpartum mental health issues.

What projects are in the works for this spring and summer?

PPMHLC is going to be setting up a training specifically for healthcare providers to screen pregnant and postpartum women for mental health issues hopefully in the summer or fall. We are also working on a walk for moms and families to raise awareness and funds for the charity in the summer. If you are interested in updates we have a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PPMHLC/.

By shopping at Lemon Street Market, customers are directly supporting more than 75 local farmers and vendors, and even more through local distributors like Lancaster Farm Fresh, Oasis, and Four Seasons. Help us to contribute even more to our community by choosing to #GiveLocal when you check out at Lemon Street Market. Shoppers can elect to “round up” their purchases to the nearest dollar when they check out or choose to increase their at-the-register donation by adding to their round up value.

a photo of Alison Pidgeon, MA, LPC Co-Chair of PPMHLC

Alison Pidgeon, MA, LPC
Co-Chair of PPMHLC

Up next: The Mix at Arbor Place will be our #GiveLocal partner organization for March & April!

Erin Dorney

Erin Dorney is a freelance writer and marketing consultant.

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