Happy last day of June and happy last day of Pride month! As promised last week, today we are focusing on LGBTQ+ and pregnancy and postpartum. I'll be honest, there isn't a lot of great research out there; a lot of research on mental health and pregnancy and postpartum period focuses of cis, heterosexual women (and often white, married women at that). What little bit we do have suggests that lesbian, queer and gay women may be at an increased risks for struggling with postpartum depression due to potential lack of support, lack of resources and potentially more difficult process of conceiving a pregnancy if they use IVF or a sperm donor. There is even less information about outcomes for trans, two spirit or gender non-binary folx. LGBTQ Health is currently one of the few groups trying to find out more about postpartum well being. On a positive note though, there is some great research out there about children raised in LGBTQ+ families having really great emotional development and often times being more supportive than heterosexual families.
So where does that leave us? One really important thing for anyone postpartum is having is having good support. Some really good online resources include
-LGTBA Perinatal Wellness Center https://lgbtqperinatalwellnesscenter.org/
-Colage (parenting support for LGBTQ+) https://www.colage.org/
It's also important to find medical providers who are supportive and safe; there has been a push in the last few years in the OB-GYN world to more towards more inclusive care and part of that includes moving away from language like "pregnant woman" and "mother/father" into "pregnant person/birthing person" and "partner/spouse." Obviously, words are nice but really accepting environments also require ongoing training and willingness for providers to own up to past mistakes. It may be extra important then to shop around and ask for referrals that are safe and LGBTQ+ aligned.
Bloom and thrive and see you in July!