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Morning Brief: Maternal Mental Health, LASD Antelope Valley Settlement, Lake Mead Water Levels

(Alborz Kamalizad
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Tuesday, July 26.

I’m not a mom yet, but I’m surrounded by many people who’ve had babies. I have a hard time imagining all of the hardships they’ve had to go through to carry and birth a brand new life. Then I think about bringing a child into this world during a life-altering global crisis.

In her most recent article, my colleague Elly Yu looked into how the pandemic affected the mental health of birthing parents, and interviewed two mothers about their experiences.

Erin Sricharoon had experienced postpartum depression before, but about six weeks after giving birth to her second child in the summer of 2020, she had a panic attack. Sricharoon tells Elly it was like “paralyzing anxiety”.

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The experience was so debilitating she had to stop driving and pull over her car.

Kacie Blackman not only had the pandemic to worry about, she was also terrified of giving birth to a Black boy during a time of heightened racial unrest. She had her son just months after George Floyd Jr. was murdered by police. Tack on recent school shootings and the baby formula shortage, no wonder parents are stressed out.

Depression, anxiety and stress increased among birthing parents in the last couple years, and treatment can be hard to come by. “It is very hard for women to access a reproductive psychiatrist in the community,” says Dr. Misty Richards, medical director of perinatal psychiatry at UCLA. “It can be quite costly. And the wait times can be four to five months, and that's an average.”

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I’ve never needed a reproductive psychiatrist in my life, but I’ve definitely had to wait long periods to see a therapist. Once again, I cannot even fathom what it’s like to have to carry the weight of the world, along with a child, just waiting to finally be seen. 

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Special thanks to our intern Armaní Washington for helping us out with this section!

Before You Go...Win KPCC+LAist Member (And Actor) Tom Hanks' 1975 Fiat From 'The Post'!

Actor Tom Hanks poses next to a forest green 1975 Fiat sedan.
Tom Hanks with 1975 Fiat 128 2- Door Sedan
(Gianni Cabiglio)
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We have an interesting story that includes a surprise! Now you probably know that Tom Hanks starred as Ben Bradlee in The Post — the 2017 thriller about the Washington Post’s attempt to publish the Pentagon Papers. But do you know what kind of car he drove in the movie?

It was a 1975 Fiat 128! Now, here’s the exciting part: Hanks is offering it up for auction and all proceeds go to LAist and KPCC. Just think, y’all are able to bid on a cute Fiat owned by an Academy Award-winning actor! If you bid - and win - you’ll not only get to own a piece of movie history, you'll be helping keep local news strong. The very last day to do so is TODAY! If you are interested in bidding you can access the auction page here.

Clarification: In Monday’s newsletter, we included an Instagram post of a map comparing the five boroughs in New York to neighborhoods and cities in Los Angeles. In hindsight, we recognize that this post is  racist and insensitive to both the Black and Brown communities in New York City and Los Angeles. Those communities are very diverse and unique in their own ways. We regret the error.

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