What to expect from and how a peer support group will help.
So you have come to the realization that this motherhood thing is hard. So hard.
Does everyone have this much anxiety/depression/rage? You may be struggling with a variety of different things - but you know one, for certain, and that is that you need some kind of support or help.
First, let’s look at some research about support groups and how helpful they are with the mental health of their participants. Such as one of my personal favorites from Mental Health America that goes over numerous studies and give percentages to how helpful peer support can be - it really affects a person’s entire quality of life.
You’ve gotta read it - there is just too much to put in this little blog post. From decreasing one’s chances of being hospitalized, to increasing employment (who knew?!), peer support has been proven to be an extremely effective way to manage mental health.
What are the benefits of a support group?
For families who don’t have insurance and can’t afford to see a therapist about what they are going through, support groups are perfect! Note that a peer support group is usually led by a fellow mother who is not a licensed counselor, and is not a replacement for seeing a therapist. However, it can serve a similar purpose in that you are able to talk freely about how you are feeling as well as get some good advice about how to improve your mental health. Postpartum Support Charleston offers both peer support groups and counselor-led support groups.
Realizing you aren’t alone
Having a group of mothers who have been through or are going through a similar situation can be invaluable. Motherhood can be isolating - making us feel like we are the only ones struggling. Support groups will help you realize that you are not alone. You are not the only mother to think scary thoughts or worry about your baby’s safety constantly. Support groups are also great ways to meet other mothers and develop friendships.
Learning helpful information
The conversation that happens during the support groups is exactly what it’s called - support. All of the attending mothers work together to support one another, whether is just lending an ear to listen or giving advice where it is wanted. Often times, mothers will learn new things about their community or motherhood that make the journey through this tough time just a little bit more manageable.
Are you nervous about going and meeting new moms and talking about your feelings. It may help to know exactly what happens during one of our support group meetings.
Our support groups at Postpartum Support Charleston are small, intimate groups where you will have the time to talk about how you are feeling as much or as little as you want to.
Once the attending mothers have arrived, the facilitator will start the conversation by introducing everyone and asking how their week went. This gives moms the opportunity to open up and talk about anything that is on their mind. Once the conversation has begun, it flows naturally from there!
We laugh, we cry, we empathize - we support you. We always end our groups on a high note - having a plan for the upcoming week on how to tackle our concerns, or simply encouraging each other to make it through one more week.
We all walk out together, with smiles on our faces, ready to return to our families with a little more confidence than we did when we left.
This is the magic of a support group. Interested in joining our next Postpartum Support Group Meeting? Get in touch with us today - we would love to see you there!