Every May is National Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, also called, Perinatal Depression Awareness month.
At HRP Mamas, we believe any month, any week, and any day, is a good occasion to raise awareness about maternal mental health issues and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, also known as PMADS - or sometimes referred to as Postpartum Depression (PPD).
The journey from pregnancy to motherhood is a huge life transition and as many of us know, the "4th trimester" is also a period of many emotions and changes. Every mother, every family, experiences this time period differently, and many factors are involved in our varied experiences. Often the expectations we had while pregnant and the perception of what new motherhood "should" feel like don't match our own experiences. Some women may experience the baby blues, and others may experience postpartum mood and anxiety disorders.
The Hudson River Park Mothers Group is built on the foundation of community support. We believe that it is helpful to talk about changes, transitions, challenges, and feelings as they relate to motherhood and parenting. Sharing experiences with other mothers, be it at our HRP Mama peer to peer informal mother's groups, and/or online via our message board and our sub-groups, or at local trained facilitator led mother's support groups (see our Pregnancy & Childbirth resource page), are all things that we believe help foster important support for new mothers. In addition, our anonymous post option allows for mothers to ask for advice and support about matters they may feel are too sensitive or personal to post on their own about.
One of the reasons I feel so passionately about The Hudson River Park Mothers Group is that in my own experience, feeling a sense of community, in a supportive environment, connected to other moms who were going through the same life transition, played an important role in helping to alleviate the sense of isolation that I felt in those early months years ago. Just knowing that there was a support network developing around me, contributed to making me in to a happier new mom and opened up the doors for more joy.
Our goal at HRP Mamas is to provide social support, foster community and friendships , and provide resources, to moms in Lower Manhattan. We offer new moms multiple options for peer to peer mother's gatherings, new mom support groups, workshops, educational events, an extremely supportive and safe online community, and other resources. On our subgroups for mamas by due date/birth date we provide lots of information on a regular basis to make sure mamas stay connected to available resources.
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders should not be a taboo subject - and it's not on HRP Mamas!
There are studies that show that pregnant women fare better in the postpartum period, when they are part of a mom to mom support network. Click here for one example. Perhaps, as this study suggests, having a sense of support and community can play a role in helping reduce the incidence of Perinatal depression and anxiety. We hope that through our organization mothers will find a valuable support network and be connected to helpful resources.
Remember: If you are feeling down, speak up!
You are not alone! Reach out to your friends, your family, and your doctors.
There are so many wonderful providers and supportive organizations in New York City - and countrywide.
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are treatable conditions and help is out there.
Below we have listed some articles and resources on this important topic. We hope this is helpful.
Director & Founder
HRP Mamas | The Hudson River Park Mothers Group