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Latinas Are Opening Up About Their Experiences With Dealing With Postpartum Depression And It’s The Most Important Thing

When it comes to having a baby, there’s no doubt that parents will experience a wide range of emotions. From pride and joy to fear and excitement, having a baby, whether it’s for the first or the ninth time, will undoubtedly trigger all kinds of feelings you haven’t felt before. For many, giving birth can also produce a feeling that others would not anticipate: depression. 

According to the  Mayo Clinic, postpartum depression can occur not only in women but in new fathers as well and it is defined by mood swings, anxiety, sadness, crying and feelings of overwhelm. Many new parents will also experience irritability, reduced concentration, appetite problems and trouble sleeping. But the truth about postpartum depression is that it isn’t just unique to the feelings, in fact, the mood disorder can cause quite a bit of shame and isolation. After all, having a baby should be marked by a period of joy and happiness. But in reality, this isn’t always the case. Despite the fact that many expect new parents to be nothing but elated and a little bit starved for sleep around this time, in reality, PPD is not only very real but also perfectly normal to experience. In fact, according to Postpartum Depression Statistics, “approximately 70% to 80% of women will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.”

To get a better understanding of these feelings of depression and how Latinas deal with it in their own circumstances, FIERCE reached out to Latinas for their experiences in dealing with depression after they gave birth and how they learned to deal.

When it comes to PPD, you might feel too ashamed to reach out but there’s no one that will help you quite like your community.

Of course, like anyone dealing with depression, there is often a sense of shame tied to your sadness that will likely prevent you from reaching out at first. After all, when it comes to mental health (particularly in the Latino community) the world has a lot to learn and a lot of coming around to do.

“I am so so thankful for the conversations starting to happen! When I got diagnosed with PPD even though I had resources available to me like therapy and doctors it wasn’t until I found my community of other moms in similar situations that I felt not alone. Community is everything!” – twistedforsugar

Opening up to family can start the healing process.

No doubt about it, reaching out to your amigas, BFFs, and mommy groups will likely help you find the kind of support and love you need to climb the mountain of depression you might be experiencing. But it’s also important to remember that sometimes receiving comfort from your family can be way more helpful than you might have expected. After all, you know who else has likely either dealt with PPD or experienced it first hand for themselves long before you did? Your mama and your papa.

“I was the first to be open about my partum depression in my family. (Prior to that my family didn’t believe it existed). But, now we get to talk about it and it’s so healing!” – karlasturtz

Take a vacation and remember that even though your kids might see you as Wonder Woman, you’re also a real woman with real concerns that should be taken care of.

Yes, mama, you deserve as much attention and love as your newborn too. Don’t worry about reshaping your post-birth body right now. Jump into your favorite bathing suit, head off to your favorite ski sights and do you girl.

“Swear this made me cringe on how I did it twice and big freaken S/O to all those mommas that did it with 5+ kids!! Y’all need a damn holiday named after you wonder women!” – yes.its_still.me11

Just remember, yes you have a baby now so things are different, but you’re still deserving of love, light and a whole lot of patience and self- love.

You know how on flights, attendants always tell you to put your mask on first before you put on someone else’s? PPD kind of works that way too. Of course, you never want to neglect your little one but be sure to be kind to yourself just as you are to your newborn. 

“Yea i was definitely NOT prepared for my stomach to be big, and saggy for the first few months after” – thebitchyhippie559

Above all, get professional help.

Self-treatment is never really the most effective or safest way to go. If you think that you have postpartum depression, be sure to reach out to a support group. Postpartumdepression.org has a ton of resources for you here.

If You’re Struggling With Mental Health Problems, J Balvin Wants You To Know You’re Not Alone

Entertainment

If You’re Struggling With Mental Health Problems, J Balvin Wants You To Know You’re Not Alone

jbalvin / Instagram

J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. His ‘Arcoiris’ tour, which holds a partnership with arts collective “Friends With You,” stayed true to its name, bringing light, color, and positivity to every city it stopped in. The tour of the US started in September and ended just a few weeks ago in LA’s Staples Center. The Colombian reggaeton icon kept up his signature high energy and used the tour as a platform to shine a light on a very taboo subject in the Latino community; mental health.

J Balvin used his tour as a platform to talk about mental health issues.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

The Colombian singer’s “Arcoiris Tour” officially launched Sept. 11 in Atlanta and then headed off to Miami, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Tulsa. The itinerary also included visits to Phoenix, El Paso, San Jose, and Las Vegas before wrapping up in Los Angeles on Oct. 26 and in all of those stops Balvin took a moment to talk about immigration, mental health issues, love, and compassion. 

Arcoiris was a bright and energetic show that shone a light on issues close to the singer’s heart.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

The Arcoiris Tour, or “rainbow” tour in English, stayed true to its name as every night, a venue was covered with neon lights, dancers dressed in elaborate costumes that ranged from walking clouds to mushrooms. All the while, the performers were accompanied by a huge cloud-shaped screen and two smaller screens that displayed colorful graphics throughout the night.   

J Balvin performed his big hits and paid tribute to other icons of the genre.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

Balvin performed some of his biggest hit songs like “Bonita” and “Ginza,” as well as iconic songs by fellow reggaeton singers, such as Wisin y Yandel’s “Rakata” and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” He would later move on to perform “La Canción,” which is part of Balvin’s collaborative album with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, titled “Oasis.” 

The singer then came to a halt to share his important message.   

During ‘La Cancion’ Balvin took a moment during the interlude to first speak on the importance of addressing one’s own mental health, encouraging people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and letting the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

The singer also addressed immigration issues, by sharing his own story. 

J Balvin explained that eight years ago he came illegally into the U.S. where he painted houses and fixed roofs for a living. “Vine con ese sueño de echar para adelante y seguí soñando. Después de pintar casas, pasé a pintar mis sueños.”  

“I came with a dream to move forward,” Balvin said in Spanish. “I followed that dream and after painting houses, I started painting my dreams.”   

The fact of the matter is that Latino culture tends to disregard mental health.

Credit: jbalvin / Instagram

Balvin highlighted this by reminding the audience that as much as we can trust God to pull us through difficult situations, we must be more willing to seek out professional help when we need it.

In fact, only 20 percent of Latinos with symptoms of a psychological disorder talk to a doctor about their concerns, and only 10 percent contact a mental health specialist, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. J Balvin took the opportunity to raise awareness about how both depression and anxiety affect Latinos and emphasized on the need to address it. 

In social media, Balvin highlights the fact that even artists who seemingly are on top of the world, struggle with mental health issues. 

Balvin has been very transparent with fans about his mental health struggles in recent months. While the hugely successful reggaetonero is having a major moment in his career, he hasn’t remained immune to depression or anxiety. This is why Balvin has used his platform as an urbano superstar to normalize experiences of mental illness for his fans. 

In recent social media posts, the reggaetonero has shared his own experiences as an example of how help and recovery are possible. 

In a video posted on Instagram, J Balvin revealed that he is feeling better now, only after receiving professional help.“I want to thank you all for the good vibes. After two months, I’ve left this chapter of anxiety and depression. Thanks to God, thanks to the professionals, to the medication, and thanks to you for the support. Definitely, sometimes we don’t prioritize these things, but we can always learn to,” he said in the video.

He’s also taken to Twitter to share his evolution with mental illness.

Credit: @JBALVIN / Twitter

In a recent tweet, the singer expressed that these two months have been “hell,” but he is now feeling on top of the world. “Seek professional help,” he wrote, “Anxiety and depression are real.” If you struggle with depression and/or anxiety, seek help by reaching out to a trusted friend, relative, teacher, or counselor. You can also reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contacting the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

READ: Everyone Is Talking About Who J Balvin Partied With Before His LA Concert And We Get Why

Middle School Girls Formed ‘The Revolutionary Girls’ Baking Society’ After Principal Refused Request To Provide Free Tampons

Fierce

Middle School Girls Formed ‘The Revolutionary Girls’ Baking Society’ After Principal Refused Request To Provide Free Tampons

In recent years, there has been a movement among women’s rights activists to educate the public about the harmful cultural stigma surrounding menstruation. This movement, that pushes for “period equity”, aims to make it possible for all women of all ages to manage their period hygiene in a humane and dignified way. Although this mission seems simple, it is actually a deep-rooted and complicated one. 

There is almost a universal culture of shame that surrounds women and menstruation. So much so that according to UNESCO worldwide, lack of access to period products is one of the reasons that many school-aged girls in developing countries miss classes. One study by UNICEF showed that 35% of girls from Niger sometimes miss classes due to the shame surrounding their periods. Other cultures across the world isolate girls from their homes and families when they’re on their periods. In conclusion, the stigma surrounding menstruation combined with structural obstacles preventing school-aged girls from easily accessing hygiene products interfere with their education. And it’s a problem.

Recently, three middle school girls went viral with their creative response to their principal’s refusal to offer free period products in the girls’ bathroom.

According to a Tweet by reproductive rights activist and President of Pro-Choice America Ilyse Hogue, students at a middle school in the U.S. “organized for free tampons in the bathroom” because their school didn’t offer any. Apparently unmoved by the students’ display of activism, the male principal the students’ request. In his response, he stated that students would “abuse the privilege” of free period products in the bathrooms. Rightfully, the students took issue with this reasoning. Three of the female students responded with an eye-catching bit of activism: none other than tampon-shaped cookies, complete with blood-like frosting and strings.  

The Tweet describing the girls’ reaction to their principal went viral, racking up over 9,000 retweets and almost 60,000 likes. Not only were people outraged that the principal refused to provide period products to young students, but they were also upset that he labeled access to menstrual hygiene products as a “privilege”. As the non-profit organization PERIOD so eloquently states on its website: “menstrual hygiene is a right, not a privilege”.

Since the Tweet went viral, the girls that made the cookies have founded an organization called The Revolutionary Girls’ Baking Society, that aims to “bake a difference” through “one bizarre confection at a time”.

According to the newly-formed website, the three anonymous girls decided to form the society once they and their families were encouraged by “the groundswell of support” from the public. The website also provided an update to the situation at their middle school. According to the statement, the “principal and the school board are now working to make sure every girl in [the] town will have the products they need readily available so no girl misses a day of school”. The Society added that they “are very grateful that the school has taken our action seriously and is making a change”. 

Although it’s exciting that these young women were able to make a difference by their activism, the bottom line is, many young women are still negatively impacted by the stigma surrounding menstruation. “Period poverty” is real and it is globally pervasive–America is no exception. According to a recent study commissioned by PERIOD and Thinx, one in five teens has struggled to afford period products or were not able to purchase them at all. Keep in mind, menstruation is a bodily function that most women experience almost universally–the fact that there are still so many obstacles surrounding period management if proof of society’s inherent disregard for women and women’s health.

As usual, the internet expressed its own opinion about a male authority figure asserting a harmful influence over girls’ bodies.

Twitter was pretty vocal about what many considered the principal’s ignorant comments about privilege and menstruation. 

This Twitter user was confused out how “abusing” tampons would work:

The fact is, due to their privilege, many men are ignorant to how expensive period products are and how they can be difficult to get your hands on–especially when you’re in a pinch. 

This Twitter user was frustrated with the principal’s lack of education on the topic of period poverty:

Once the principal’s argument was investigated further, it became obvious that it held no ground. 

This Twitter user exposed the double-standard and built-in misogyny of refusing to offer hygiene products to help handle a normal bodily function:

It’s brilliant arguments like these that expose the hypocrisy of structural sexism and how it works against women at all stages of their life.