Saturday, March 19, 2011

Building Community: Footsteps for New Moms

During pregnancy and following the birth of a baby, a wide range of emotions are possible. Often there are the expected feelings of excitement and joy, along with feelings of anxiety and worry. Mothers may also feel overwhelmed, uncertain, and frustrated. Being pregnant can be difficult and caring for a newborn is challenging. Regardless of how prepared a woman is or how much she looked forward to her pregnancy and her baby's birth, the perinatal period may include some unexpected "highs" and "lows."

Footsteps for New Moms is a monthly support group sponsored by BirthGirlz, which is offered the second Monday of the month at their Design District Office. The group is facilitated by a trained therapist and operates under a peer support model.

Persistent depression during the perinatal period can have devastating consequences, not only for the women experiencing it but also for the baby, other children and family. Peer support can be a very effective form of treatment for perinatal mood disorders and can serve as the main form of support for mild cases and in combination with therapy, medication or other modalities for severe cases.

Symptoms of postpartum depression
  • Changes in sleep patterns, either being unable to sleep or sleeping too much.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Changes in appetite, either eating too little or too much.
  • Feeling hopeless, a loss of control or great sadness.
  • Crying for no reason.
  • Having no feelings or too much concern for the baby.
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger.
  • Feeling little interest in daily activities.
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Scary and repetitive thoughts about the safety of the baby

If you or anyone you know has the above symptoms, please encourage them to join the group and benefit from the opportunity to meet with other local women who are dealing with or have recovered from postpartum reactions and mood issues, including depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress (birth trauma) and baby blues. For additional information contact Michelle Fonte of BirthGirlz at 786-704-8328.

No comments: