Mental health is a bit of a hot topic these days. People are discussing it all over the place, celebrities are coming clean about their struggles with mental health, and new forms of therapy are branching out everywhere.
One might think that this indicates that mental health statistics are improving. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, it seems like more and more people are becoming aware of mental health treatment not because the problem is improving, but because it’s worsening, especially among youth.
Why Is Everyone Talking About Mental Health?
People are talking about mental health all over the globe. In some respects, this is a good thing – it’s bringing awareness to the perceived stigma that many people believe in regards to mental health. But why exactly is this happening?
- Mental health is becoming more problematic. As more and more people develop mental health problems, more and more issues arise in the society that we live in. Consider, for a second, a workforce that grows increasingly more anxious or depressed. Satisfaction in the workplace will drop, employee termination will increase, and the only thing that could help would be bringing awareness to these problems.
- The mental health stigma is changing. A lot of things are working to improve upon the current stigma surrounding mental health. Over the last few years, it’s been considered something of a taboo to discuss things like anxiety or depression. This has made it difficult for people to decide to openly seek therapy or treatment for their issues, due to fear of being judged or labeled.
Things like online counseling and celebrity endorsement of mental health treatment are starting to turn this stigma around. People are beginning to recognize that mental health isn’t a joke, it’s a serious issue that needs to be taken care of.
- It’s a sensitive topic. Like it or not, many media outlets report on topics that will get a powerful response from the public – and this means that they’ll make a point of reporting on topics that people are sensitive about, such as mental health.
More and more news and media outlets are beginning to cover stories regarding mental health – and unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t stories with happy endings. Stories of people doing dangerous or irresponsible things as a result of their mental health has brought the issue into sight for many people.
How to Prevent Mental Health from Getting Worse
One of the things that needs to be recognized is that people just don’t always take counseling and therapy seriously. Counseling and therapy have survived for so long because they’re effective.
When someone actually makes a point of seeking out professional help, they’re usually surprised about how much they can learn about themselves and their mental health. Counselors and therapists help provide the tools and skills that you can use to develop insight into your emotional health, so that you can live a long and happy live.
What Interferes with Successful Breastfeeding?
While breastfeeding is ideal, it comes with many difficulties new parents might face.
After experiencing the intensity of labor and delivery, many new parents are left exhausted. Despite this fatigue and surviving pospartum, new parents soon learn the importance of managing the needs of an infant. Putting aside their own desires, parents learn to quickly adapt.
Exhaustion and recovery are not the only things that discourage parents from breastfeeding. There are a variety of other woes that can make it difficult for a lactating parent to continue to choose this option.
While 83 percent of women breastfeed at the beginning of postpartum, there is a drastic reduction by 6 months, resulting in only 56% of babies still being breastfed.
When a lactating woman’s milk comes in, she may experience intense pain and discomfort. The breasts typically become overly filled with milk because they have not yet regulated their supply. This engorgement can continue throughout the breastfeeding journey for a variety of reasons.
If the baby’s schedule changes, a woman’s breasts can become overly full. If the parent misses a feeding, breasts can experience discomfor which can lead to breastfeeding infection. If a woman becomes preoccupied at work and does not make time to pump, she can experience discomfort.
If breast engorgement is not treated properly, milk ducts can become blocked, and if a woman does not work to move the milk through her breasts (via feeding her baby, pumping, or expressing the milk), this engorgement can lead to further problems and may cause clogged milk ducts.
One of the biggest concerns beyond the pain a woman experiences with engorgement is infection. This is known as mastitis, and leads to a woman experiencing not only breast pain and warm breast tissue, but also flu-like symptoms that come with fever, chills, headache, and further exhaustion.
In order to help prevent infection, regular feedings are essential. Often, the best mastitis treatment, at least for early symptoms, is to massage the breast in a warm shower and express the extra milk.
Furthermore, by working with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), parents can have a great resource on how to best deal with, treat, and alleviate these problems.
Not only is an IBCLC a great resource in helping prevent breast infection, but a great source for your breastfeeding journey to encourage and educate you in best practices.
The best way to achieve breastfeeding success is to utilize the many tools that an IBCLC offers.
To exclusively breastfeed your baby can be quite overwhelming and exhausting. Between nightly feedings, cluster feedings, and pumping sessions for working mothers, breastfeeding is difficult to maintain. Unless a woman is properly supported by her family, friends, and workplace, the chances that a woman will continue to breastfeed are significantly impacted.
Culture also impacts the likelihood of a baby being breastfed beyond 6 months. The CDC discovered that parents in the Southeast United States are less likely to breastfeed their children past six months. This was in contrast to the Northwest, where business policies and the culture is more breastfeeding-friendly and supportive.
Despite the nutritional benefits afforded to a breastfed baby, there are many obstacles that can be discouraging for parents on their breastfeeding journey. From exhaustion to pain to lack of supoort, parents have many reasons to give up.
To increase your chances of success, surround yourself with supportive individuals, reach out to an IBCLC, also known as lactation consultants, and gain the necessary tools required to provide your child with the healthiest option available – you!
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