Updated: November 16, 2021 06:29 PM
Created: November 16, 2021 04:21 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A local organization focusing on maternal mental health believes more needs to be done to get mothers the help and support they need.
The expectations of what motherhood is supposed to look like are sometimes far from what women experience.
“There's never a mom that struggles through the night sleeping,” said Susan Aguayo, CEO and founder of Kassy’s Kause. “There's never a mom talking about how hard it is being a new mom. Or pregnancy just being hard.”
Even with seven kids of her own, Susan Aguayo never really understood those struggles until her daughter Kassy got pregnant in 2015. At four months pregnant, her daughter took her own life.
“She thought she had no support. She felt she had nowhere to turn. We didn’t know what happened. We just knew that she was gone,” she said.
Perinatal depression, or depression during pregnancy, may have been overwhelming. Later that year, Aguayo started a nonprofit called Kassy's Kause, with the goal of bringing maternal mental health to the forefront.
“We're lacking so much. It’s not only the knowledge of people being trained specifically on how do you deal with someone suffering maternal mental health, other than just stamping them, ‘you're a bad mom.’”
Aguayo said the latest tragedy, the death of a one-month-old baby boy in Valencia County, is bringing up questions of postpartum depression. Kiria Milton called police for help because she was worried she would harm her baby– just a week before police believe she killed him.
“If she asked for help, that shows that she cares,” said Aguayo. “She was aware enough to say there's something wrong. I can feel it.”
But Aguayo doesn't believe Milton got the help she needed. But she said there is help out there.
Aguayo has resources on her website for women who are struggling.
“It’s about them mentally taking care of themselves so they can take care of their child. They are reaching for help because they want help,” she said.
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