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Frequently Asked Questions About the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

About the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline

What can I expect when I call the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline?
Parents and their loved ones who contact the Hotline will speak to professional counselors. Counselors will immediately provide real-time support, information, and resources.

Counselors will also provide referrals to local or telehealth providers if you need longer-term care and support. Counselors are licensed or certified, and also have training in how to provide culturally appropriate and trauma-informed support. They will take into consideration your preferences for age, gender, ethnicity, and language-specific resources when providing referrals for you.

Who will I speak to when I call or text?
Hotline counselors include the following maternal and child health professionals:

  • Licensed health care providers such as nurses or doctors
  • Licensed mental health clinicians
  • Certified doulas or childbirth educators
  • Certified peer support specialists

Will I have to pay for the call or the services?
No. There is no charge to receive support from the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline.

How long should I expect to wait on hold to speak to someone?
The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline intends to respond to all callers and texters in a few minutes. Response times may vary based on volume.

What languages do the counselors speak?
Counselors provide support in English or Spanish. Counselors also have access to interpreter services who can support 60 other languages, including:

  • Arabic
  • Creole
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Hebrew
  • Hmong
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese

Is the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline a crisis hotline?
No. The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline is not a “crisis line.” If you are in suicidal crisis, please call or text 988 or visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Who funds the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline?
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline under contract number HRS280162. HRSA awarded the contract to Postpartum Support International in September 2021. Congress authorized the Maternal Mental Health Hotline in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

What You Need to Know About Maternal Mental Health

What is mental health?
Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.

What is maternal mental health?
Maternal mental health is the range of feelings you can have during and after pregnancy. Pregnancy and the postpartum period (time after delivery) can bring on lots of strong emotions, and some may feel:

  • Overwhelmed
  • Sad
  • Worried
  • Exhausted
  • Concerned they aren't good enough as a mom

For many individuals, these feelings go away on their own. But, for some, these emotions are more serious and may stay for months. If you're not feeling yourself for more than two weeks, make sure to reach out and find help. Difficulties such as depression and anxiety around pregnancy and after the baby is born are common and treatable. They affect new parents of every culture, age, gender, race, and income level.

What are some signs of depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy?
Depression and anxiety affect pregnant people and new parents in different ways. Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless most of the time
  • Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Less interest in caring for yourself (dressing, fixing hair)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble coping with daily tasks
  • Constant worry about your baby
  • Sleeping or eating too much or too little
  • Feeling very anxious or nervous
  • Unexplained irritability or anger
  • Unwanted or scary thoughts
  • Feeling that you are not a good mother
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call or text the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746). Don't wait. Reach out today.

What should I do if I need help right away?
You don’t need a diagnosis to reach out for support. Reach out as soon as possible, and talk to supportive and informed counselors.

The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline provides 24/7, free, confidential support, resources, and referrals to any pregnant and postpartum mothers facing mental health challenges and their loved ones, via phone and text in English and Spanish. Call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746).

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