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One in eight women experience postpartum depression, Banner Health expert talks about why

PHOENIX (May 1, 2024) - Banner Health is recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month in May by providing information about maternal mental health, which is a woman’s overall emotional, social and mental well-being, both during and after pregnancy.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that one in eight women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. As many as one in five women will have mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy, with the most common being depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI); and only about 10% of pregnant women seek treatment for these struggles.  

Banner Health Psychologist Dr. Staci Broadwell says a contributing factor to this issue is the lack of discussion about available resources and education on managing mental health during pregnancy and in postpartum.  

“It’s important for women to know the signs of a mental health issue and take proactive steps to manage any mental health symptoms,” Dr. Broadwell says.  

Another glaring factor is the pressure and stigma that one is “supposed to be” happy during pregnancy and birth. 
“I believe this is contributing to the problem that women do not talk about how they are feeling or reach out for help,” Dr. Broadwell says. “Instead, many women keep their feelings inside, which only worsens the mental health issue and perpetuates the feeling of isolation, shame and loneliness.”  

Dr. Broadwell says discussions around pregnancy and postpartum mental health should start with the patient’s first doctor’s visit, where a psychologist consultation can be included in the treatment plan and resources can be tailored to the patient’s specific needs. She encourages women to speak with their healthcare provider team to discuss all their mental health options. 

“It is important to normalize that every pregnancy is different and that there can be conflicting feelings about pregnancy and becoming a mother,” Dr. Broadwell says. “We want to work toward decreasing the pressure and stigma around how pregnancy is “supposed to” look and feel.”  

If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling, help is available. Call Banner Behavioral Health at 602-254-4357 or dial 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.  

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care, and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit
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