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Owlet Employees Give Back to Moms Suffering from Postpartum Depression this #GivingTuesday

November 26, 2018

Employees of Owlet Baby Care all share the same mission: working towards a future where every parent, new and expecting, has access to better tools to care for their baby in the home. Not only do they share the mission, but they share the passion of the company and are always looking for ways to help in their community.

Owlet Employees Give Back

This #GivingTuesday, employees chose to donate funds from their paycheck to purchase Owlet Smart Socks for families who are struggling with postpartum depression. They are hoping their donation will help ease at least some of the anxiety associated with caring for a newborn baby in the home.

According to the Association of Psychological Association (APA), “It’s common for women to experience the ‘baby blues’—feeling stressed, sad, anxious, lonely, tired or weepy—following their baby’s birth. But some women, up to 1 in 7, experience a much more serious mood disorder: postpartum depression (PPD). PPD can affect any woman—women with easy pregnancies or problem pregnancies, first-time mothers and mothers with one or more children, women who are married and women who are not, and regardless of income, age, race or ethnicity, culture or education.”

Even lack of sleep can trigger PPD. The Mayo Clinic found that when mothers are sleep deprived and overwhelmed, they may have difficulty handling small tasks. This leads to them being more anxious about their ability to care for a newborn, further contributing to postpartum depression.

New mom, Kaneesha, explains how anxious she’s become since having her first baby, Brooks. “I tried putting him in his own room when he was six months old, but I was so nervous about him, I slept in the doorway.” She goes on to say, “I hope that by having an Owlet Smart Sock, my separation anxiety will be lessened and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep better.”

Lack of sleep and the heightened stress that comes from bringing a baby home were variables that Eric Dyches knows all about. After his wife, Emily, had given birth to their fifth child, she experienced debilitating panic attacks. Her doctor immediately recognized that she was suffering with postpartum depression, but due to services being unavailable, her symptoms became worse. In February 2016, while she was riding as a passenger in a car on the interstate, Emily experienced a major panic attack. This lead to her exiting the vehicle and into the path of oncoming traffic. Sadly, she was struck and killed on impact, leaving her five children without a mother.

The Emily Effect was born from this tragedy by her devoted husband and children to help other moms suffering with a pregnancy-related mood disorder. This impactful nonprofit organization has been working with local hospitals to implement postpartum depression screening and to provide access to resources in the community.

Giving Parents Peace of Mind

Employees of Owlet were so touched by the Emily Effect’s noble cause that donations have reached a total of 150 Smart Sock units. Specialized treatment facilities located near the company’s headquarters have been identified as recipients of these generous donations, who will be distributing the units to moms suffering from PPD. These agencies include:

  • Serenity Recovery: An outpatient treatment center dedicated to mothers going through perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Our evidence-based models of treatment focus on skill building in a safe and welcoming environment. Clients will take part in individual and/or group sessions that are personalized to each individual to master skills that will help them heal.
  • Reach Counseling: Reach Counseling offers a range of services for women experiencing perinatal mood or other mental health disorders. Our services include a Perinatal Intensive Outpatient Program, general counseling for individuals, children, couples and families as well as a free mom support group.  We are committed in helping women and families along their journey toward increased peace and happiness. We also accept a variety of insurances.
  • St. Mark’s Perinatal Outpatient Program: St. Mark’s Hospital Behavioral Health Services offers an Intensive Outpatient Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder Program for pregnant and new moms to develop individualized and effective coping skills to help them feel like themselves again.

“I love my children, but the last four years has been such a dark place for me as I’ve been suffering with PPD,” said Natasha, a patient at Serenity Recovery who recently had her third child. “I’m amazed at the generosity of Owlet and I’m so excited to have my own Smart Sock. It will give me so much added peace of mind.”

You can help

Most people aren’t aware, but perinatal mood disorders are the most common complication of childbirth. And there are several warning signs that husbands and partners should take note of, so be sure to get familiar with them before the baby is born.

Symptoms of PPD:

  • Fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbance
  • Excessive worry about baby’s health
  • Intense anxiety; rumination, obsessions
  • Intrusive or terrifying thoughts
  • Feeling inadequate to cope with new infant
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or incompetence
  • Feeling sad, depressed, and/or crying a lot
  • Change in appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you know of someone suffering from any of these symptoms, be sure to refer them to a healthcare professional.

“We can’t thank Owlet and their employees enough for their generous Smart Sock donation to Reach Counseling. We know this product is going to greatly help our clients who are faced with postpartum. I’ve used a Smart Sock on my own child and have felt comforted by its reassurance. I’m looking forward to seeing positive changes with families who are benefiting from these gifts. Thank you!”  Ashley Henderson, owner and clinician at Reach Counseling.

Written By: Michelle Dangerfield, Clinical Program Lead and Misty Bond, Director of Communications

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