FSA Friday - 5/11/18 - Celebrate Mother's Day with much-needed support

Just by looking at the calendar, I'd bet your inbox is full of emails urging you to celebrate Mother's Day by getting flowers, candies, spa treatments and fruit kabobs made to look like bouquets. And these are great gifts, for sure. But is that what mom really wants on her special day?

Maybe not. In this week's FSA Friday, let's look at two of this week's most-striking headlines, both of which center on a person who might be looking for something more than lilies and brunch reservations this weekend.

New Survey from March of Dimes shows what moms really want for Mother's Day - March of Dimes Media

According to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll for the March of Dimes, a majority of U.S. mothers with young children believe that Mother's Day should be about support -- not just at home, but in all areas of their child's well-being. This includes affordable healthcare, better maternity leave policies, and more expansive benefits for working parents.

Some key findings from the surveyed mothers include:

  • 90% of moms feel immediate improvement to maternity/parental leave policies is needed.
  • 88% wish that prenatal care was of higher importance to policy makers.
  • 87% percent believe that maternal and child health care needs immediate improvement in the U.S.
  • 86% feel current healthcare policies make life harder on mothers.

The last statistic is noteworthy, which is why the March of Dimes is aiming to start a larger national conversation about the subject by releasing the results of this survey nationwide. Because, like John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll said after releasing these results, "We need policies, not just flowers…"

(You can access the full set of survey results here.)

Maternal mental health is important for moms and their children - Dr. Lizellen La Follette, Marin Independent Journal

While we make our last-minute rush to celebrate mothers across the country, it's easy to forget that May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. Consider this an opportunity to remind ourselves that achieving and maintaining positive mental health is key for anyone, including new mothers and their children.

Depression affects more than 12 million women in the U.S., but is an illness that can be treated. And it's a particular concern for women who are pregnant, as prenatal depression -- which is typically caused from hormonal, genetic or environmental factors -- can lead to poor nutrition or other unhealthy behaviors during pregnancy. In other words, it affects both mother and child.

What many women might not know they have access to is mental health treatment, including medication and psychotherapy. And these treatments are typically FSA-eligible.

The article goes much deeper into services and treatments available for mothers facing depression, alongside some personal accounts from the author, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in California, who pens a regular woman's health column for the Independent Journal each month.

While we honor Mom this weekend, it's a good time to remember how mental well-being leads to positive outcomes for both mother and child.

FSA Friday is a weekly roundup of the latest topics, tips and headlines to keep you updated on all things flex spending. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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