Motherhood at work: Exploring maternal mental health: Postpartum is affecting mental health at work. What can companies do about it?

Up to 1 in 5 women in the postpartum period will experience a mental health disorder like postpartum depression or generalized anxiety disorder.

How an organization handles a mother’s return to work can have a significant impact on her mental health, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

Organizations control the majority of work-related factors that predict better mental health outcomes. This can include access to paid maternity leave, total workload, and job flexibility.

But previous research examining maternal mental health with respect to work has lumped return to work in with maternity leave, said lead author Rachel McCardel, a doctoral student in UGA’s College of Public Health.

“But return to work is more than that because, while maternity leave is an important resource, it doesn’t necessarily capture the actual process of when leave ends and when you start resuming work, and when you start combining your roles as an employee and a mother,” she said.

Understanding the role that return to work plays in a working mother’s mental health may help navigate solutions. It will point to where interventions or support could prevent or lessen the burden of conditions like depression or anxiety.

Source: Read Full Article