Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona (WHI) started long before we opened our doors. Serving women and families as they move through life’s transitions has been the driving force of the work of our founder and leadership for some time. Specializing in the transition into parenthood and maternal mental health came simply from an idea based on experiences so many parents have as they moved into motherhood or fatherhood. Many prepare for the labor and delivery, but not so much for what parenthood will be like, much like how we focus our energy in planning a wedding, but not the marriage. Once the labor and delivery are over, we are thrust into one of the most vulnerable times of our lives with major changes. We also know mental health struggles around pregnancy and up to one year postpartum or more for some, are the number one complication of pregnancy, yet we don’t prepare, educate and allow for the necessary support to be well. We tend to throw parents into the deep end and hope they can swim.
One of the reasons WHI exists is to walk or swim alongside parents and offer support and care so they can thrive in parenthood. We understand the sensitivity in moving into parenthood as it is one of the times in our lives where we experience an “emotional earthquake” (Sichel and Discoll, “Women’s Moods: What Every Woman Should Know About Hormones, the Brain and Emotional Health”). This is the result of the major life change, the enormous shift in hormones, sleep deprivation, buying into the myths of motherhood and all of our unresolved battles and struggles we have. It all seems to come to the surface as we are learning to feed and care for this tiny human. The goals of WHI are to ensure all parents have access to the support and best practices in care so they can be the parents they desire.
We also exist to listen and help the individual in front of us. We know we all have our good, bad and ugly. I have a colleague who says, “we all have our major malfunction. Know yours.” This is really one of my favorite statements. We often find that our major malfunction or ugly rears its ugly head during times a great stress like life changes, losses, a pandemic, unknowns. We try so hard to handle them on our own, resisting support which often causes more distress and pain. We are here to listen. You are not alone. We are here to help. We desire to share tools, encouragement, support and information to help you on your journey.
"All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors--in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver."