When Madavia Johnson gave birth to Donald Ray Dowless III last year, she was hit by a case of severe postpartum anxiety.
She was scared to carry her son downstairs or drive him in a car. She couldn’t manage to continue law school – and could hardly leave the house – because she didn’t trust anyone to watch him. Her weight dropped from 140 to 115 pounds.
“It was very stressful for me mentally,” said Johnson, now 29, who lives in Clayton, N.C. And she found it hard to secure medical assistance because her Medicaid coverage ran out just two months after her son’s birth. Public health advocates are pushing to change that.