Video of Capitol Hill Press Conference celebrating enactment of MOTHER’S Act


As my regular readers know, I typically do not post anything beyond my Friday Soother on Fridays.

But this important and I know you will want to watch it.

The video is 33 minutes long but OH SO WORTH IT.

What a wonderful celebration!

MOTHER’S Act supporters gather to celebrate enactment of historic postpartum legislation


Today, at 1130 a.m. EST, a gathering will take place. A gathering that has been years in the making, has had some of the most amazing and dedicated supporters I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and a gathering that celebrates the thousands and possibly millions of lives which will be saved in the years to come.

Senator Menendez, Rep. Bobby Rush, Carol Blocker, Susan Dowd Stone, Katherine Stone, Sylvia Lasalandra, and several other advocates are gathering on Capitol Hill to celebrate the enactment of the MOTHER’S Act. This is a momentous day indeed.

This past year I spearheaded a blog event to help increase grassroots support of this bill. Several other women also worked diligently to increase support and gather signatures for a petition which was presented to Senators in support of this bill. It was not an easy task. We had opposition. Opposition which attacked us like nothing I’ve ever experienced. They said things about us that simply were not true in an attempt to bring us down and decrease our support for the bill. But it didn’t work. We persevered through their words, through their hatred, through their guilt-ridden tactics. Was it easy? Heck no. But we kept on in the trenches because we had truly been IN the trenches fighting off our own battles with Postpartum Mood Disorders before our births as advocates. We knew what it was like to be tragically alone in that cold, damp place. And we were gonna be damned if we let that continue to be the norm.

Along the way, we proved our compassion for all new moms. We provided resources and supported them as they cried out for help in the darkness of their battle with Postpartum Mood Disorder instead of attacking them for choosing to use certain therapies available to them.We lifted women and families up with love, warmth, and cherished each one of their experiences. We cried with them, laughed with them, celebrated victories and comforted in times of loss and grief. We were there.

We won a good fight.

And today?

Today’s just the icing on the cake – the party.

But beneath that icing, rest assured we will continue our hard work. We WILL be there for all those who contact us, who lean on us for support, for reassurance that yes, YOU too can beat this beast.

Today though, I’m giving you permission to have your cake and eat it too. We’ve damn well earned it.

Blog Day 2009 for MBSMA: Speak up NOW!


Recently, I’ve joined forces with Susan Dowd Stone over at Perinatal Pro to support The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHER’S Act (or MBSMA.

I strongly support the passage of this legislation. I have been out in the cold without resources. It’s not a pretty place to be! I will not let another Mother struggle the way I have on my watch!

On April 20th, 2009, we’re holding an online rally. One we hope will spill over into the phone lines of the Senate H.E.L.P Committee and onto the desks of Senators on Mother’s Day, showcasing the support America has for the MBSMA!

The focus of this rally is to increase signatures to a growing list of supporters at Perinatal Pro and encourage phone calls to the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee in support of the MBSMA.

Grand Central for this rally will be here at Sharing the Journey where we’ll be featuring an interview with Mary Jo Codey, another tireless advocate for the MBSMA!

We’ll also have a list set up for you to register your blog posts. (Guidelines for participation in this list will be posted later this week) Don’t worry, if you don’t have a blog you can still participate by leaving a comment to let us know you’ve phoned the H.E.L.P. Committee. You’re also encouraged to email, twitter, or share the event at Facebook. (Click here for the Facebook Cause associated with this event)

Contact information for the H.E.L.P. Committee, a call script, and a quick Postpartum Mood Disorder Fact Sheet will also be provided. Just in case you’re wondering, no, you don’t have to be from the state of any of the H.E.L.P. Committee Members. It’s a federal committee so anyone can contact them regarding legislation in review.

The MBS MOTHER’S Act needs to be passed now. American Mothers cannot wait any longer. They do not deserve to suffer in silence and fear judgment from loved ones, from their community. They deserve to be educated about Postpartum Mood Disorders so they won’t feel guilty or confused when the harsh waves come crashing down around them after the birth of a loved child.

We’re not asking much.

Just your voice in support of the MBS MOTHER’S Act in one post at your blog. Your name added to the list of supporters at Perinatal Pro.

And in return you can rest easy knowing that you have brought light to a new Mother’s world.

NASW Supports MOTHER’S Act


Susan Dowd-Stone shares the announcement at EmpowHer.com. The importance of this endorsement is that social workers are among the first responders when it comes to therapy and providing aid to women and families in need. You can read more about this announcement in Susan’s own words over at EmpowHer.

Sign the petition in support of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act!


Sign the petition in support of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act!

written by Susan Dowd-Stone

Last year the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance based in Chicago IL, created a fantastic online petition in support of the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act. The online petition generated over 24,000 signatures – in record time – to send an urgent message to Congress in support of the legislation. Thanks to the consistent efforts of Gloria Pope, Advocacy, Public Policy and Training Director for DBSA, the online petition has been reintroduced as of March 9, 2009 again in partnership with Postpartum Support International.

By clicking on this link (or copying and pasting it in to your browser) http://capwiz.com/ndmda/issues/alert/?alertid=12832296 , you will be taken to an advocacy alert page on the DBSA website where you can scroll down, enter your zip code and generate letters of support for The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act to your Congressman, Senators and committee chairs. It could not be any easier!

While U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Bobby L. Rush have lent their power and tireless advocacy to the creation of  protective postpartum depression legislation for years, our support and constituent advocacy will add the force of the people’s will to their upcoming efforts. When well coordinated, the internet offers a constituent megaphone not previously available. Fifteen seconds of your time could forever change a nation’s view of these disorders!

The petition can track results from states and even constituencies within the state based on zip code, so will give us great information on where we need to target continuing advocacy efforts. By consolidating the petition on one website, our results are more reliable as truly representative of individual supporters.

With the legislation expected to go for a full house vote within the month before proceeding to the senate, this is a great time to go on the record in support of this critical legislation. Please visit the website and add your signature or individualize your letter today!! Then forward this link to everyone you know – colleagues, friends, family members and community organizations, so our legislators continue to understand the enormous bipartisan support that exists for this bill! We cannot wait any longer for this life-saving legislation to pass! Help make it happen THIS YEAR!!