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Woman Shares How The Burden Of Being A New Mom In America Nearly Ended Her Life

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Woman baby

A mom has opened up about the financial burden of being a mother in America.

Sharing her story with HuffPost, Lori Ament is shedding a light on the true cost of American healthcare and how so many of our social systems set mothers and families up for failure.

The financial stress of motherhood led her to postpartum depression.

When Ament found out had her son back in 2016, she and her husband were overjoyed. But, because she had to return to work just three months after giving birth, life soon began to take its toll.

While juggling work and taking care of a baby, Ament became depressed, which led to her becoming suicidal.

She wrote, “Sometimes my thoughts drifted to images of what would happen if I was in a deadly car crash.”

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She further mentioned that the financial stress of raising a baby in America is what contributed to her depression. 

“Lack of paid parental leave leads to physical and mental health problems for both parents and their babies,” she wrote. “And in a country with the highest healthcare costs, many parents are forced to ignore their own health concerns.”

With financial concerns already on her mind, seeking help was not an option.

"In the midst of my suicidal ideation, the stress of becoming a financial burden scared me out of indulging the thoughts," she wrote.

"But it also scared me out of seeking help, for fear I’d be a financial burden on my family."

Medical complications had forced her to take an extended maternity leave with no payment and bills kept piling up.

In addition to the financial struggles, she had the pressure of being a good mom to her son.

She felt like she was failing her baby boy and things only worsened when she was unable to get her son to breastfeed.

"One night, while my son wailed out of hunger because I couldn’t feed or pump, I found myself on the floor, blinking through tears and staring at packages of formula, unable to bring myself to accept defeat in my internal battle to be the 'perfect mom.'"

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It was at this point that she felt she had enough.

She wrote, “As I began to succumb to these horrible feelings, I found myself alone in the kitchen with a knife in my hand. I thought it would be easier to die.”

Just then, her husband walked into the kitchen and stopped her from going any farther.

He mentioned that she should seek out mental health services and get some help. 

Ament still struggled to access mental health services.

Ament wrote that going to therapy immensely helped her mental health, but it didn’t change the reality of financial struggles in America.

She wrote, “But even with a strong support network, and two incomes supporting our household, I had to fight to access basic mental health services.”

Ament also talked a little about the Roe v. Wade overturning and how it would impact mothers like herself.

"Stripping parents of reproductive healthcare won’t ensure their child has healthcare. The death of Roe won’t save a single life," Ament wrote. "Rather, it guarantees more parents will suffer silently, or worse, until they lose the battle that I narrowly won."

If you or someone you know is struggling, please do not hesitate to seek support.

The Suicide Prevention Line is open 24/7 with counselors available to talk at all hours. Please dial 988 or call at 1-800-273-TALK or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information.

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Sanika Nalgirkar is a News & Entertainment Writer based in Seattle. She has a master's degree in Creative Writing. See more of her writing on her website.

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