Happy Maternal Mental Health month! Early records by Hippocrates from around 500 BC mention birthing women suffering from “agitation” and “delirium” in the perinatal period. Later medical documentation from the 14th century called it “madness” which evolved into “melancholy” and “hysteria” in the 16th century. Hundreds of years later, the field of perinatal mental health was born, finally adopting a feminist, person-centered, evidenced-based clinical lens to address what is now called perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).
Art therapy is an integrative mental health profession around since the 1940’s, (though humans have of course been using art as therapy since our cave painting days.) It incorporates trauma-informed, sensorimotor-based practices that can be extremely effective in supporting birthing people in coping with challenges along their family building journeys.
The powerful intersection of these fields is only recently being written about, with this groundbreaking text "Art Therapy and Childbearing Issues" edited by Nora Swan-Foster at the top of the list. Grateful for the fellow unicorns, movers, and shakers who are paving the way in developing innovative, compassionate, and creative maternal mental health care. It’s about time! #perinatalarttherapy #pioneerwomen #maternalmentalhealthmatters
Post by Sharon Itkoff Nacache ATR-BC LCAT LPAT PMH-C
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