The Invisible Sexual Minority in Postpartum
I’m not a therapist or a doctor; I’m a personal postpartum specialist trained in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, sharing peer-reviewed research. This is not meant to diagnose, or replace medical advice or treatment
Postpartum depression is fairly common in the United States among mothers. We know that bisexual people have higher rates of depression and anxiety than heterosexual or gay/lesbian people in the United States (see this pdf).
So how does postpartum depression affect bisexual mothers? Let’s dive into that a little bit.
An international study
We’re going to be talking about postpartum depression in LGBTQ+ moms. This research comes from a legendary international study conducted in Toronto, Canada, and Boston, US revealed some important information about new parents.
Bisexual, pansexual, and queer moms
This research focuses specifically on moms who identify as bisexual, pansexual, queer, or are attracted to more than one sex or gender. All of you other LGBTQ+ parents, I see you and know that parenting can still be complex as an LGBTQ+ person. Today the highlighted research (and this blog post) is just focusing on these particular mamas.
Postpartum Depression in queer moms
Moms who are invisible sexual minorities (pansexual women partnered with men, for example), have the highest rates of postpartum depression. They are followed by visible sexual minorities (lesbian couples, for example). Heterosexual mothers, while having high rates of postpartum depression, come in last place for frequency of postpartum depression.
We’re still looking for resources
For more resources on queer parenting (based in Canada), visit here.
We asked @stillbisexual on twitter about any resources for LGBTQ+ parents with postpartum depression. They said:
Unfortunately there are not a lot of resources for postpartum depression specific to LGBTQ+ parents here in the USA. If you know of any please reach out!
Assembling Your Team
If you are a mother who is attracted to more than one sex or gender, I recommend assembling your team before birth. Finding a therapist is a great way to prep for the postpartum period.
As a Personal Postpartum Specialist, if you feel comfortable disclosing your sexual orientation to me, I will help you keep an eye on postpartum depression in you and your partner. Here are the signs of postpartum depression that I look for. Of course, I keep an eye on mental health always - it's just good to know what your risk factors are so we can keep our eyes open. In addition, I remove a lot of the obstacles that get in the way of mental health, namely keeping your household running so your only job is to sleep, eat, and feed your baby.