In 2014 our doula agency was founded and with it came a regular gathering of new moms that we eventually named “New Mama Cafe”. This weekly meeting was a welcoming, safe space for moms to connect over coffee and conversation while their babies played in a safe environment. At its peak we had approximately 20 moms walking through our doors each week with their adorable babies in tow. What a joy it was to see familiar faces each Tuesday and get to great new moms and babies as well!
Last night we hosted a viewing of "When the Bough Breaks" a heartbreaking documentary about the realities of postpartum depression & psychosis. We were joined by local OC birth professionals, members of the community, and a number of mental health professionals to not only watch this film, but to discuss what we can do to make postpartum support more acceptable and more accessible.
It's no secret that there is still tons of stigma surrounding mental health and treatment options in this country, but what struck me most after viewing this film was the overall lack of understanding, education, and resources surrounding perinatal mood disorders. Simply put, our healthcare and societal systems often set women up for failure, leaving them feeling confused and isolated with nowhere to turn. There are no specific standards for screening and care providers see so many patients each day that it's common for those needing help to slip through the cracks.
That's if these women reach out for help in the first place as the fear of being judged often keeps women silently suffering.
Hey there, mama. We see you.
We see you with your sore nipples trying to get your baby to latch, scrolling through KellyMom trying to figure out what's going on and how to make it work. We know it's hard and painful and exhausting. They told you your baby would feed every 2-3 hours, but how has it only been 45 minutes since your baby last fed and is now showing signs of hunger again?! Yeah, we see you.
Let's be real... as a new mom, you have a lot going on. Not only have you just birthed an entire human, but you're adjusting to sleepless nights, sore boobs, raging hormones, and learning the ins and outs of your baby's own unique cues. The first few months postpartum can be overwhelming and even frightening for some, often resulting in a lack of self-care and intense feelings of isolation.
Getting out of the house can be tough and finding time for yourself even tougher. What once took very little energy or thought, now requires a check-list just to get out the door in one piece!
- 5 Million Diapers & Wipes - check!
- Bottles - check!
- Change of clothes for baby - check!
- Is my bra on? - check!
- Do I have spit-up anywhere on my shirt? - double check!
Leaving the house can be utterly exhausting, but getting out and about in the community might be just what the doctor ordered for your postpartum physical & mental well-being. And what could be better than mom groups where babies are welcome with open arms! Baby & Me Yoga is just one of the many events we host to help moms get reconnected to themselves and meet other parents in the community!
So what's all the fuss about Baby & Me Yoga? Why is it so great?
We know you're excited to see that baby. We're excited for you to see that baby, to hold that baby, to love that baby!
BUT we're here to tell you: it's not all about that baby.
Being a helpful & encouraging postpartum visitor is about more than the birth and the new life that has emerged, it is also about supporting the transitioning family and helping the new parents stay sane!
To be honest, it's easy to get caught up in the euphoria of being around a newborn. They're just so fun to look at and they smell divine. But while you're staring at that sweet baby, your friend is hungry and tired, and probably hasn't showered in a few days. And she needs your help.
So, what can you do to help??!