Get ready for Strong Start Day, Wednesday, October 5, 2011!

When Perinatal Pro was launched several years ago, it was to address the paucity of online resources for women and healthcare professionals. To bring those who care about women’s maternal mental health the latest information about legislative and social policy and initiatives regarding perinatal mood disorders.

But years earlier, Katherine Stone was already blogging to mothers about her own experiences with PMAD’s over at Postpartum Progress. She was already creating a safe online refuge where women could find reliable information about these disorders, where they would feel less alone, validated and know that there was hope for them. That with treatment and understanding, they would be well again.

Katherine was reaching out to mothers when there was literally NOTHING online outside of some medical or psychiatric language that didn’t tell moms what they really wanted to know – like…Am I crazy? Will I ever be back to normal? What is happening to me? How can I get well? How will I survive this?

How will this illness affect my baby’s future?

Katherine spent years gathering information from the most reliable healthcare providers and researchers, reputable specialized treatment centers, scientifically based reading materials, and trustworthy online resources.

And most importantly, she created a stigma busting online community of mothers who sustained and supported each other through their own maternal mental health challenges.

Today, Postpartum Progress with its passionate cadre of Warrior Moms is the most widely referenced online resource for PPD information in the world. A resource far too necessary and precious to lose. One which has grown in respect and stature over the past decade. One which is daily suggested and referenced as a primary resource by major healthcare institutions, researchers, policymakers and healthcare providers around the world.

And most of all, by the moms who have benefitted and overcome incredible obstacles to reclaim their lives and who are now the most spectacular kick-ass moms on the planet!

Katherine’s goals reach beyond her blog. Far beyond her influence as a national speaker able to galvanize a room of passive, bored conference goers into committed advocates. She has formed Postpartum Progress Inc., a new nonprofit venture that hopes to raise money and fund worthy projects supportive to mothers suffering from PMADs in a variety of contexts.

She has recruited a team of experienced board members for PPI who represent many disciplines and professions. Through her diligent efforts, she has positioned Postpartum Progress Inc where it can transition itself into a true “make a difference” nonprofit power in maternal mental health.

On Wednesday, Katherine’s personal letter will be posted here. She will be asking you if you can spare a dollar or two to help raise funds to support the programs, research and services that PPI feels are most likely to make a difference for new moms struggling with PMADs. Programs and studies which could save lives but which have been stalled, postponed, or lost because of a fiscal environment that does not prioritize maternal mental health.

I don’t know a single mother who has been through the agony of an antepartum or postpartum illness who wouldn’t write the biggest check she could if it would help another mom. I know this from witnessing the incredible generosity of mother-to-mother compassion. What one Warrior Mom will do for another inspires all of us.

But it’s really tough out there right now. Families are hurting. So if you are moved to donate, please do not feel your donation is too small to matter. Every dollar moves the line up a notch to faciliate even modest funding of a worthy service, program or study.

And if you can’t afford bupkis, than maybe a little time?

Email others about Postpartum Progress Inc who might be able to help out, or of course, who will benefit from its very existence.

So on Wednesday, October 5th, I’ll be posting the letter from Katherine outlining what is going to happen throughout Strong Start Day. I hope you will participate and support the Chief Warrior Mom and her organization – an entity that has been a life-saving resource for many.

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