If you are reading this, you are likely a mom that lives in the good ol’ show me state. And, you are likely dealing with some level of anxiety. Whether that is postpartum anxiety, the presence of anxiety during more seasoned years of motherhood, or something that feels episodic because of other factors in your life, these anxiety resources could help you start to feel some emotional freedom, control over your thoughts, and lead to a generally positive impact on your-day-to-day functioning. Some of these resources are truly relevant to those in Missouri and others are applicable to moms everywhere.
Here are 10 of the best anxiety resources for Missouri Moms!
1. MOMs Line (Local resource only)
Hosted by SSM hospital, this fantastic support line provides peer support and coaching from moms who have been through it. No matter what you have faced, there is likely a volunteer mom Postpartum Peer Coach who knows your pain and can be there for you AND help you find other resources you may need!
A local nonprofit started by former NICU parents, LOGiC.baby offers no cost membership in their app, NICU Channels. Though their mission is geared towards those affected by the NICU experience, much of their content and coaching is around mental health, self-care, advocacy, & engagement. In other words, even as a non-NICU parent, it could be helpful and beneficial. Check it out and see for yourself!
Okay okay, so reading is sometimes REALLY hard to get to as a mom. Even if you have the time, (and that’s a big “if”!), you may not always have the energy. And we get it. But we want to recommend it anyway because:
1) Reading is a great tool for dealing with anxiety in general. It is a hobby that requires mental focus, which can mean your brain can’t engage in those anxious thoughts. It’s too busy being occupied elsewhere!
2) There are actually a LOT of great books out there that tackle the content matter so many moms are looking for. And within those books are gobs of helpful tips that can give you insight, tools, and solidarity to what you feel as an anxious mom. A few of those good titles for mothers dealing with anxiety are:
1. Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts
2. What No One Tells You: A Guide to your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood
3. Stress Less, Live Better
Extra hack: if reading is hard for you, consider the audible version! Even grabbing 5-10 minutes at a time of a book you either enjoy or find helpful adds up over time!
4. Any meditation app
And there are several! These apps make it easy to try (or enhance) a mediation practice. And remember, it is a practice! No one is “good” at meditating right away. Give yourself some
space and grace! These apps are available on any app story. There are usually versions of the app that requirement payment, but they also all have a ton of good, free content. This means you can explore them and find out which works best for you. Then, if you feel so inclined, you could decide to pay for more content. Here are some favorites that our therapists at Marble Wellness recommend to the anxious St. Louis moms we work with:
Extra resource: if you’re wondering about how to start a meditation practice, check out these 6 tips for meditation beginners.
5. Your OBGYN or PCP
Your doctor can be a great resource for dealing with your anxiety. St. Louis moms experiencing postpartum anxiety, chronic anxiety, low levels of anxiety, anxiety as a mom of a teen, or any other type have wonderful healthcare professionals who can help. Our metro area is full of a range of doctors, and other health professionals, who are talented, trained, caring, and dedicated to your care. With the rise in telehealth, this may even mean that an anxious mom in other parts of Missouri can find a St. Louis doctor and do virtual visits. If you don’t have a doctor in St. Louis you like or trust, reach out to coworkers, neighbors, families, friends, or even moms groups on Facebook for recommendations of good doctors. This can be your primary care physician or your OBGYN. Both can be a quality place to open the conversation about dealing with your anxiety, and finding relief from it!
In that conversation with your doctor, be open and honest about how you are feeling; don’t hold back. In order to get the most out of your relationship with your providers, you have to give them all the pieces. Tell them about hiding in the pantry. Tell them about crying in the shower. Tell them about your scary fears and daydreams. Let them lead you somewhere safer and better.
Another tip for having a successful conversation with your doctor about mental health is to describe your symptoms in a way that includes: frequency; duration; intensity. For example “I’ve been crying 2-3 times a day (frequency), most days of the week (frequency), for about 20-30 minutes each cry (duration). Often, I’m crying so hard I can’t even talk through the tears (intensity).”
Here’s another example. “I have racing thoughts at night (symptom). This happens 4-5 nights each week (frequency) and has been going on for the past month (duration). Sometimes, it wakes me up so much, I have to get out of bed and do something for 1-2 hours before I can try to go back to sleep (intensity).
You don’t *have* to be able to talk about all of your symptoms this way, or even any of them, but sometimes it can be helpful for your doctor to get the picture of what’s going on and what intervention might be the most helpful. If you’re not sure about this, just start the conversation anyway, and the doctor can guide you! Or, call your doctor to make an appointment, and while you wait for the day of your appointment to arrive, keep a small notebook of your symptoms and details related to them.
Extra hack: If you’re a postpartum mom and you’re not totally sure what you’re experiencing, check out our blog that lists out all the mood issues that may come up during this perinatal time.
6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Therapy will change your life! This type of therapy, shortened often to “CBT”, focuses on challenging and changing harmful thoughts and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and developing personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. It is a type of therapy that has a ton of research behind it that supports its positive impact. It is a type of therapy for moms that is especially effective! Marble Wellness provides this intervention and if you are a St. Louis mom with anxiety---or even a Missouri mom with anxiety---we’d love to partner with you to help you overcome that! There are also MANY great options throughout Missouri and via telehealth.
7. Postpartum Support International
This comprehensive organization provides local resources throughout the country and a support line you can call or text! The entire premise is helping moms with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Check them out!
8. Podcasts: “Mom & Mind” and “Motherhood Sessions”
Who doesn’t love a good podcast?! It’s the perfect thing to do if you have time in the car, time during a nap or lunch break, or early mornings/late nights when you can’t sleep. Hearing from other moms who have also struggled can be so validating. Some sample topics from these podcasts include: “Not Cut Out for Motherhood”; “Parenting Through Trauma”; & “Setting Boundaries with a Toxic Grandparent.”
9. A postpartum doula
Doulas are care providers that can be an incredible source of support during pregnancy, birth, and/or the postpartum period. You can hire someone who is an expert in postpartum care to come over to your house and be with you. Doulas have a whole range of benefits but one of the absolute best is their commitment to the health and well-being of the mother. Postpartum doulas are an amazing option for some families and they bring you peace of mind, support, knowledge, and lots of love and compassion. They can provide in-home help with laundry; meals; or caretaking of the baby so momma can get a break. Especially if you’re an anxious mom, this kind of support can free some mental worry because you’re in such capable hands. Here is a list of postpartum doulas for Missouri.
10. Your own support network
We all have friends and family that love us. Even if you have estranged family members, you probably have neighbors or coworkers or church friends who care for you and want to see you thrive. Check in with your people. Let them know how you are doing. Tell them you are struggling and how they can help. If you aren’t completely comfortable sharing all of your struggles, it is okay to pick and choose how transparent to be with different people in your life. But challenge yourself to open up to those friends and family in a way that is going to have a net positive result on YOU and YOUR well-being. You are especially encouraged to do this during your postpartum period, but it is 100% acceptable to ask for help as a mom in any stage of your motherhood. Especially as an anxious mom, relief from that feeling can so quickly be achieved by connecting with others.