What We Do
Postpartum Progress® is a registered 501c3 nonprofit that is laser-focused on maternal mental health. We are a peer-to-peer organization with three key focus areas: raising awareness, providing peer support for pregnant and new mothers and reducing stigma.
We are immensely proud of our track record of educating consumers for more than a decade, and we know we’re making quite an impact.
PostpartumProgress.com – Founded in 2004, our blog is now the leading awareness raising media outlet and the most widely read blog in the world on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It reaches more than half a million individual women — more than 1.6 million page views in 2014, compared to 1.1 million in 2013 — every single year. It has won numerous awards, and is a “must read” parenting blog according to the New York Times. (In 2015 we’ve already hit 2.1 million.)
“Plain Mama English” Guides – Lots of women don’t understand terms like mania, dysthymia and psychomotor agitation. That is why we talk about perinatal mood and anxiety disorder symptoms based on the language mothers actually use. We call this “plain mama English” and we know our unique symptom lists make it easier for moms to recognize whether something is wrong. Our plain mama English online guides to postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms, postpartum psychosis symptoms, and suicide are often referenced and utilized by the reproductive psychiatry community. We now provide these tools in downloadable form free of charge to the healthcare and social support community and they are now being distributed by institutions like MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to patients to help better communicate these illnesses. Our recently launched New Mom Get Help Checklist has already been downloaded more than 700 times by psychologists, childbirth educators, doulas, home visiting nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and moms from Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa, California, Oregon and also Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
Free Awareness Resources – In 2014 we distributed 4,250 free “Hugs cards” to Postpartum Progress’ local peer advocates across the country to share in their communities. We also launched our first infographic. In 2015 those educational materials will now be freely distributed upon request to obstetrician, therapy, psychiatry, support groups and pediatrician offices. All of the materials we develop help moms identify PPD and related illnesses, reduce stigma, and encourage mothers to seek professional help. We know our content works because 95% of Postpartum Progress users say we helped them learn more about mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period; 79% of respondents reported Postpartum Progress helped them recognize they were suffering from a maternal mental illness; and 75% reported Postpartum Progress increased their willingness to seek professional help for their maternal mental illness.
Climb Out of the Darkness® – Climb Out of the Darkness is our signature event, held each year on or around the longest day of the year to symbolize shining a light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Moms get together in communities across the globe to climb mountains, hike trails, walk paths and share their stories while also raising funds for Postpartum Progress. The event was started in 2013, with 177 Climbers and $40,000 raised. Our 2015 Climb had more than 2,500 Climbers and raised $230,000. Registration is always free and open to all who support the cause of families getting a stronger start. In 2014 the event was covered by both CNN and the New York Times.
Mother’s Day Rally – 2015 found us hosting our 7th Annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health over on our blog. The event is a 24-hour online celebration of new motherhood, featuring 24 open letters written to new moms by influential bloggers and published authors who have survived perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Baby Steps Program – Our volunteers, known as the Warrior Mom™ Battalion, are more than 600 strong and are at the ready to spread the word so that moms know they are not alone and they will get better with help. We launched a new program called Baby Steps where we provide awareness messages tailored to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram that our volunteers can share on their social media accounts. Baby Steps was designed to allow small, quick and easy actions — baby steps — taken by many individuals to combine into one big leap for maternal mental health.
PROVIDING PEER SUPPORT & BUILDING COMMUNITY
Peer support educates, connects women to treatment, motivates them to communicate with healthcare providers, and lesses the burden of disease. Our peer support and community building for women with maternal mental illness is second to none — 97% of our users say they feel less alone thanks to Postpartum Progress and 99% say they would refer friends and family members to us.
Postpartum Progress Private Forum – We launched a private peer support forum in partnership with the company Smart Patients for those moms that don’t yet feel comfortable asking questions, commenting or otherwise talking in public about what they’re going through. It’s free and open to all, and we now have nearly 3,000 moms using the forum, many of whom do not have access to local support groups. To see what they’re saying about the forum, click here.
Warrior Mom™ Conference – In July 2015 Postpartum Progress hosted the first ever national, patient-centered conference on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Boston at the beautiful St. Botolph Club. The event had more than 100 attendees and focused on celebrating recovery, building community and helping empower survivors to raise awareness in their own communities by giving them skills training. Tickets to the conference sold out in one day. Our 2016 conference will be held October 14th and 15th in Atlanta.
Social Media – We’re all over social media and always talking with our audience. In fact we have more than 7 times the patient engagement on social media of any other organization in our space. We reach 30,000 moms every week via our presence on Pinterest, Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter, and we answer thousands of direct questions from moms each year. In May 2014, we partnered with Moms Rising on one of their #wellnesswednesday Twitter chats to lead a discussion on the topic of postpartum depression. Moms Rising said our chat had 13 million impressions and was one of their most highly trafficked Twitter chats ever.
Daily Hope – Daily Hope is a one-of-a-kind daily email service created specifically to provide daily support for pregnant and new moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Subscribers receive email messages Monday through Friday for a full year from Postpartum Progress founder Katherine Stone to encourage them continue treatment for a full recovery. This service, which costs $49 annually, was created in partnership with Hopeful Publishing. All Daily Hope proceeds benefit our nonprofit organization.
Warrior Mom™ Book Club – We have a virtual book club with more than 60 members who read books and memoirs about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, discuss them in a group conversation, and then post their group reviews on our blog.
We never shut up when it comes to spreading the word and make sure moms feel safe reaching out for help, and we encourage our audience to do the same. We know it’s working because 86% of our audience says that Postpartum Progress led them to share their own story of maternal mental illness more openly with others.
Warrior Mom Logo – We created the Warrior Mom® logo to help fight shame and reframe the idea that mothers who have PPD are somehow weak, or defective, or different from the rest of us. We are proud of her and what she has done to help our community feel positive about the possibility of recovery from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders with professional help. Many survivors of maternal mental illness now call themselves Warrior Moms, and even get tattoos of our logo!
Empowering Content – We create content that shows how common perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are and combats both societal and self-stigma, like our Climb Out of the Darkness 2015 video and our awareness video produced in partnership with the company Cotton Babies. We also have the world’s largest repository of stories from moms who have lived experience of maternal mental illness. Additionally, the Warrior Mom™ Photo Album helps combat the negative stereotypes and imagery of moms with maternal mental illness in the media. It is the only one of its kind, and features the faces of more than 230 moms who’ve survived postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, postpartum psychosis and antenatal depression. They represent 43 U.S. states and six different countries.
Speaking Out – Postpartum Progress is always at the forefront speaking out forcefully against stigma. We have been featured or appeared in and on CNN, USA Today, the Huffington Post, PBS’ This Emotional Life and more. In 2014, BuzzFeed, one of the leading social news and entertainment sites with more than 150 million monthly unique visitors, featured the Postpartum Progress blog’s story on how you can’t always tell a mom is suffering from a maternal mental illness by looking at her. The story trended for a period on BuzzFeed and received more than 275,000 pageviews in the US. It was also translated into Spanish and French for global audiences.