GREENWOOD, Ind. — Perinatal depression, one of the most common complications of pregnancy, affects one in every seven women.

A Greenwood mom is on a mission to take her experience battling this mood disorder to help other moms facing similar challenges.

“I look back and I feel like there were just so many red flags that I should have picked up on, that my doctors should have picked up on,” said Nissa Walker.

After Walker gave birth to her first child, she noticed her anxiety skyrocketed. After dozens of trips to the doctor and test after test, Walker was diagnosed with a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.

These disorders can often go undiagnosed and leave moms feeling overwhelmed and alone. Perinatal mood disorders often go undiagnosed because of the pressure new moms often feel and the stigma surrounding asking for help.

But these disorders are incredibly common. That’s why social worker Tracey McInnis offers the Perinatal Mood Disorder Program– which helps moms find the support they need. McInnis took over the Perinatal program in 2018 after the original coordinator retired.

McInnis meets with any parent in Indiana at no cost to help them find the right doctors, therapists and support group. 

“They are with other moms who have walked the same walk and talked the same talk and that is so therapeutic for moms who felt very isolated, very alone, very scared,” McInnis said.

“I got better in that one day, the first day attending group, than the entire six months leading up to that day, Walker said. “When I left that day, I had a diagnosis, I had answers, I had solidarity.”

Today, Walker is now assisting McInnis in leading the group sessions and helping others battling the same thing. There are peer groups for moms and couples and the groups meet in person and virtually.

If you’d like to learn more about the perinatal mood disorder program, click here.

For more information on the IU Health/Riley Perinatal Mood Disorder Program, call McInnes at 317-948-7308 or email tmcinnes1@iuhealth.org.