Morning Brief: Maternal Mental Health, LASD Antelope Valley Settlement, Lake Mead Water Levels
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”.
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
- Remember that story about how Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were disproportionately citing and arresting Black students in Antelope Valley? Well, now federal monitors have found that progress into the settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is being impededby the LASD’s ‘inexplicable’ internal delays.
- The water level in Lake Mead is at its lowest point since 1937. Here’s what it could mean for LA’s water supply.
- Some employers are stealing from the state’s lowest wage workers. Many victims of this wage theft are women, immigrants, and people of color.
- Rage rooms have been a popular way to get the anger out, but California environmental officials are concerned that hitting objects with a baseball bat could inadvertently release hazardous waste, especially if that thing being smashed is an old TV or computer.
- Inaccurate directories continue to plague the healthcare system. Among the issues, patients end up with inflated bills from doctors and hospitals outside their network.
- Have you shopped online recently and, as you were paying, the price increased? Blame pricing algorithms.
- Shark Week is here! It wasn’t always the phenomenon it is today. Here’s the story of how it started to gain attraction.
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'!
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.