So our fun morning of reinventing the baby shower somehow morphed into a more serious time of talking about being real with each other and postpartum depression… but from what I could judge, it seemed like we all appreciated the time to talk about topics that get swept under the rug too easily. Sandy led us in a great devotional about being real with each other and with God, and we had a great discussion about the ins and outs of what that looks like. She quoted from the book Naked Spirituality by Brian McLaren, in case anyone wants to look it up.
We followed that with table conversations about the emotional turmoil of becoming a parent (NOT just a mom – dads aren’t immune!) and the range that covers the baby blues through prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety to the extreme of postpartum psychosis. We all seemed to agree that the transition can be really tough, and that it’s crucial to find a balance between the isolation of having a newborn and being inundated with visitors and family or friends overstaying their welcome. Having a support network that actually knows how to help can make a huge difference, and one of the most important things we can do for each other is to just check in periodically.
Just in case you want to have these numbers on file for a crisis:
- Klinic 24-hour crisis/suicide line – 786-8686
- WRHA Mobile Crisis Service – 940-1781
- Public health nurses – 938-5144
- Pregnancy & family support services – 772-9091
- Health Links – 788-8200
Those are just a few – there are lots of resources out there for dealing with all sorts of crises. And of course you should feel free to call your fellow moms for help or just a chat. Personally, due to my ongoing “challenging” pregnancy, I have all sorts of resources and information that I’d be glad to pass along. Women’s mental health is one of my hot button topics (in case you couldn’t tell) – I feel like it’s ridiculous that women are uninformed and written off so easily.
To wrap up this wrap-up, I’ll throw open the comments to you – what pointers did your table come up with for helping each other through the rough parts of having a new baby? And finally, the internet has been chock-full of interesting parenting articles lately. Relevant to our session this week, Simple Mom had one on PPD and first-time moms, and A Deeper Story wrote about being real using a childbirth metaphor. (A Deeper Story is one of my favourite blogs – I don’t always agree with it but it’s almost always thought-provoking.)