Wednesday, December 17, 2008
We are two moms of young boys who each struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. Between us we experienced insomnia, loss of appetite, over-concern about the baby, suicidal thoughts, escape fantasies, debilitating guilt, worthlessness, agitation, inability to concentrate, hospitalization, hopelessness, excessive crying, anger, confusion and other symptoms associated with postpartum mood disorders, and have made full recoveries.
Molly has a master of social work degree from Southern Connecticut State University, where she conducted research on peer support and also co-led psychoeducational groups.
Chris has been a phone volunteer through Depression After Delivery and The Postpartum Resource Center of NY since 2002 and is a postpartum doula with the Brooklyn-based Birth Day Presence.
We established a peer support group in Brooklyn in 2006 as a place where pregnant and postpartum women can get support if they think they are at risk for PPD, are experiencing symptoms and need further help and resources, or are in the care of a therapist and want to attend the group as part of their treatment plan. The group is free, meets monthly, and babies are welcome to join us. Women are encouraged to attend for as many meetings as they feel the group is helpful, whether once for information or monthly for ongoing support. Please note that the function of this group is to provide a forum for the exchange of peer support. It does not replace care provided by a licensed mental health practitioner. Please understand that this is a closed group; only women experiencing symptoms of a perinatal mood disorder will be allowed to participate. Graduate students, researchers and well-meaning friends and partners may not sit in on meetings.
Emotional support from empathetic listeners is one key part of expediting a woman's recovery from PPD. A support group might be the only place a mom feels safe to share her feelings without being judged or gossiped about, as it is private and confidential. Women in the group share and validate each others experiences, and women further along in the recovery process set an example of wellness and hope to those moms in despair.
For more information about the symptoms of and recovery from postpartum depression please see our section titled "Helpful Websites". We are growing this site and will be adding more educational information, strategies for recovery, and resources for partners, family and friends in the near future.
You are not alone
This is not your fault
You will feel better