February is the month of love and this month I want to focus on a topic that is near and dear to my heart, postpartum depression, which affects many moms all over the world. In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended that all pregnant women and new mothers get screened for depression.
Having suffered from postpartum depression myself, I know how difficult it can be to ask for help once you have acknowledged that you are struggling.
I never had trouble understanding what was going on, because I have a history of anxiety and had experienced a series of major life events right before my daughter was born that made me super-aware of how I might respond to the stress of bringing home baby. I did, however, have a hard time finding the right resources.
There were times throughout my journey where I really felt no one could help me and nobody cared. This of course was not true, but even with my understanding of postpartum depression in general, I convinced myself I was all alone. One thing that ultimately helped was finding support groups and therapists who had experience and training working specifically with mothers during the postpartum period. It’s so helpful to talk with other moms and with professionals who truly understand the unique experience of being a mom and how managing your mental health while being a mom looks different.
The peer support I have witnessed and taken part in can be life altering. One of the most difficult feelings for new moms is the feeling of isolation. Add guilt from not feeling the way you think you “should be” feeling and it can be a recipe for disaster.
Sometimes hearing “me too” goes a long way, especially when struggling with the guilt and stigma that can accompany postpartum depression.
My google search capabilities are pretty top notch, but the internet can be overwhelming sometimes, especially when you are not feeling great mentally. I spent hours scouring the internet for groups in the different areas I lived throughout my postpartum journey, and I wanted to make that process a little easier for any moms out there who may be going through a hard time.
As a side note, I purposely didn’t include any new mother groups on this list. We have compiled a great list of places for moms to find other mom friends here. I know that a lot of moms have found a ton of support and guidance in these types of groups, but for the purposes of this list, I decided to focus only on groups that deal specifically with postpartum depression.
Here’s my list of local resources in the Denver metro area. If you know of any other resources in the community, please let us know in the comments section!
Healthy Expectations Mother-to-Mother Support Group
Children’s Hospital Colorado
13123 E. 16th Ave. B130
Aurora, CO 80045
To register and do a quick screening call, 303-864-5252
Postpartum Transitions Support Group
Postpartum Wellness Center
2300 Canyon Blvd.
Boulder, CO 80302
1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 11:00am
To register, contact Rosie Falls at 303-335-9473 or email@example.com
Postpartum Support Group
Winding Path Counseling
1045 Acoma St. Suite 3,
Denver, CO 80204
6 Saturdays, March 12-April 16
Cost: $150.00 total ($25.00/session)
To register, contact Sarah Tie at 303-219-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Afterglow: Postpartum Support Group for Struggling Moms or Dads
Luna Counseling Center
6000 East Evans Ave., Building 1 Suite 225
Denver, CO 80222
1st and 3rd Saturday of each month at 10:00am
To register, contact Sara Henninger at 303-710-9070 or shenninger@LunaCounselingCenter.com
Postpartum Support Group
The Catalyst Center
300 South Jackson St. Suite 520,
Denver, CO 80209
To schedule a 15 minute phone consult and register, call 720-675-7123
Hope 4 Moms Support Circle
For more information and updated location info, call Mary Schroeter at 303-883-7371
Postpartum Support Group
The Family Garden
600 S. Airport Rd. Suite B,
Longmont, CO 80503
1st and 3rd Monday of the month, 12:00pm
Childcare available for $3/child
This list is a starting point, but it doesn’t cover all of the bases. There are multiple steps that need to be taken to support a mom who is suffering with postpartum depression. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other postpartum mood disorder, reaching out to your doctor or a therapist is a good first step, in addition to these local resources.
I have updated information for the Postpartum Support Group at Luna Counseling Center. The group will start up again on September 17. It will still be on the 1st and 3rd Saturday starting at 10:00am. All of the contact information to sign up is the same as well. Contact Sara at 303-710-9070 or email her at email@example.com to sign up for this free group.
As a mom of 4 (ages 4, 6, 7, and 9) I struggled significantly with PPD after each of my children were born (and during baby #3’s pregnancy). It was so easy for me to fake it and make it look like I was really okay until I hit rock bottom (I wrote a short post on this on my Facebook page after an acquaintance who was struggling with PPD took her life this last Christmas). It not only takes a mom to reach out for help but it takes her closest family and friends to recognize some key signs and risk factors. And more awareness is never a bad thing! If anyone has made it out on the other side of PPD I always encourage them to share with new moms…you may just hit a nerve and help save a mom and/or a baby’s life!
Here’s another great resource that my friend Katherine Stone set up: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/
Hi Noell! Thanks so much for your comment. You are right that a mom’s close friends and family need to recognize key signs and risk factors as well. It can be exhausting and scary for a mom to reach out. Postpartum Progress is a great resource. I mention it at the end of the post and include a link to the site. That’s awesome that you know Katherine Stone. She is doing great work for all of the warrior moms out there.
UPDATED GROUP INFORMATION:
Hope 4 Moms Support Circle (2 locations)
2629 W Main Street
Main Street Centre, Suite 140
Littleton, CO 80120
Cost: $5.00 suggested drop in fee
The Family Room
6279 W. 38th Ave., Suite 1
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Cost: $5.00 suggested drop in fee
For more info: http://www.IntegrativePathwaysCounseling.com or http://www.facebook.com/h4moms
Thank you for this awesome info! I am struggling at the moment with approaching a friend who I suspect is having a very hard time. I am a mom who did not experience PDD and I’m not sure how to approach the subject. Any thoughts?
Hi Katy! Thank you for reaching out. Here are my thoughts. While I am by no means an expert, from my own experience I can say that I think being direct while also communicating how much you care about your friend’s wellbeing is a good approach. You won’t gain anything by skirting around the issue, and even if you offend her by being direct she will know that you are paying attention to her needs and that you care to support her. By being direct I don’t mean saying, “you have postpartum depression. you need help.” I mean approaching it like, “I’ve noticed that you seem to be feeling down since you gave birth. As your friend I want to support you in the best way that I can. Tell me what this experience has been like for you. How can I help?” Use what you know about your friend’s personality to cater the conversation to best meet her needs and encourage her to speak her truth about what she is experiencing. Those are my initial thoughts. Also, Postpartum Support International and Postpartum Progress are great resources. There are links to those pages at the end of the article. Taking a look at those websites might also help give you some guidance. I hope that is helpful. Thanks for looking out for your friend!
Kristina- thanks for sharing a piece of your story. I think I may have been in much more challenging place if my husband hadn’t been on leave for 3 months with me. I see moms with their partners back to work after a few weeks and I think, I literally could not have done that…and I think that’s probably because of some measure of PPD that I dealt with personally. The “me toos” and companionship of my best friend and husband helped me muster through, but it makes me wonder how it might have gone with professional support. Excellent list of resources and support I never knew existed. Thank you.
Thanks for your feedback Dani! I think the fact my husband had to go back to work a week after my daughter was born played a huge role in how I coped with taking care of my daughter. It was terrifying. I am so glad to hear that your husband was able to stay home with you for 3 months. Having another person there during those first couple of months is so helpful and I would argue crucial. I wish all dads were able to take a proper paternity leave.