Did you know May is PFD Awareness Month and Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month? At Feeding Matters, we are getting ready to raise awareness for these two issues we are passionate about! In recognition of the toll PFD can take on families, we bring you a message from the mother of a child with PFD.
As I sit here next to my beautiful child with pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) the psychological damage caused from going on this journey with him sits next to me. I know it will always be with me. It is the reason I will never try to have any more children. But how do I make it bearable to sit by? How do I accept it without letting it cause me more harm? Maternal mental health is at the forefront of this question. Finally starting to share my experiences has helped me. What helps you? If you don’t know, reach out. Whether it’s PFD or not, all mothers struggle with something. Don’t struggle alone. Whisper, or scream if you have to, but get it out. Don’t let the fear, anxiety, or depression chisel away at the beauty that is you, mommy.
My best friend Jenna says it best, “Seeking support is a sign of strength. Our children need us, we need us too. Sometimes it feels like one more thing in a long list of things we have to do.” But do it we must. We will be healthy again, maybe not today, but one day. Don’t be ashamed of your struggles or perceived inabilities. Motherhood is all about learning. Who is your teacher? Look around you, help is closer than you think. So, for now, I say goodnight to the damage sitting next to me. I’m hopeful when I wake up it won’t be sitting as close. And maybe, one day, she will walk out of the door for good.
1 in 8 mothers experience symptoms of maternal depression (NICHQ, 2021). 1 in 37 children have pediatric feeding disorder. Your feeding experience with your child may be affecting your maternal mental health. Attend the IPFDC to share experiences and learn what help is available.