Every Thursday a room at the Willow Tree Family Center blooms with candid discussion about the toughest job around, being a mom.
It’s to help new moms push away postpartum depression symptoms from setting in by communicating with other moms. It’s called Shades of Motherhood, and group leader Kersten Kimmerly says it’s to assist moms who are going though symptoms such as intense irritability, insomnia, and having a hard time bonding with their baby, but don’t understand why.
“The common thread is moms feel it’s their fault. They feel like it’s something they did and so they are afraid to speak out and when they hear, no, this is something that happened to you, it’s not your fault, it’s nothing you did, you will get better and we will help you, they feel relieved.”
Up to 80% of new mothers experience the baby blues where unhappiness, worry, self-doubt, and fatigue overcome their emotions. These feelings typically start soon after delivery and go away on their own within a week or two.
If these feelings last longer than two weeks, then postpartum depression may have set in. This serious condition affects about 10% of new mothers, but many experts believe the number is even higher because many women don’t seek medical treatment. It’s caused from a combination of hormonal, environmental, and genetic factors that are beyond a mother’s control so Kimmerly says communicating these feelings with others can help pull depressed mothers out.
“There’s great empathy here, there’s great support and a lot of women will suddenly say, me too, me too, and that’s the beauty of the group setting.
This perinatal support group meets and mulls over moments of parenting frustration because as it turns out, talking about issues with other moms helps them move away from feeling like they’re the only one dealing with perinatal problems.
“We tell the truth about what we really think and feel, the scary things, the hard things, because when we do that we can really come together and understand each other.”
You’ll find more information about this support group and others through the Willow Tree Family Center under the “Seen on 6” section of WLNS.COM.