Support

H.O.P.E.

Hold On Pain Ends

Hope. It's essential. It's vital. It gives us strength and comfort. It can get us through the darkest night. For so many women it is the one thing they desperately need to get through the postpartum period. Hope that they won't always feel like this. Hope that this won't harm their children. Hope that their relationships can survive this. Hope that someone will understand. Hope that someone will help.

Hope is one of the first things that Postpartum Depression, Anxiety and OCD tries to steal from you. Depression tells you that no one cares, Anxiety tells you that you are ruining everything, OCD tells you that you will hurt or be unable to protect your baby. They are liars. But when your own brains seems to have turned on you, where do you find hope? How do you hold on until the pain ends when you honestly can't see an end to the pain?

HopeThis is why we are here. THIS is what we do. You may have noticed that our tagline - "Educating. Supporting. Healing." We exist to show moms, dads, families, and providers that there is a way out of this. Each path is different. Some include medication, therapy, support groups, online groups, diet changes, exercise, vitamins, acupuncture, massage... there are as many paths as there are women. The important thing is that there is also hope.

950,000 women will suffer from a maternal mental illness (depression, anxiety, OCD or psychosis) each year. That's 1 in 5 new moms. What they need most of all is hope. They need to know that they are not alone, that in fact they are far from being alone. They need to know that they can reach out for help and help will reach back. They need to know that if they can just Hold On, Pain Ends.

How can you help? You can share this post with a new or expecting mama. You can share it on social media. You can contact us and volunteer.  You can donate time or money or both! You can ask a new mom how she is doing - and listen to her answer.

If you need help please reach out. Please know that we are here. Please Hold On until the Pain Ends. Please have HOPE.

By: Graeme Seabrook.

You Were Never Alone

By: Graeme Seabrook.

I hear it all the time: I thought I was the only one! I hear it in support groups and I read it in the comments on blogs and on Facebook. I hear it over the phone and I read it via messenger. Each mother is totally and completely sure that she is alone in her illness, that she is the worst to ever have these symptoms and that it is her fault.

Approximately 950,000 mothers will suffer from a Maternal Mental Illness each year. That is almost ONE MILLION MOMS. That is more than four times the number of women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer about 210,000.

Not only are you not alone now, you never were alone. When your world drained of color and everything turned grey, you were not alone. You were not the only mother who threw all of the knives out of the house or who wouldn't go near the stairs or the bathtub because of the images in your head you couldn't control. You weren't alone when you were raging and screaming or when you broke down afterwards from the guilt and fear. You were never, ever alone.

holding-hands1Right now there are almost a million moms all across this country who are right there with you. They are at work, at school, driving carpool and making dinner. They are questioning and second guessing and hating themselves and wishing it could be different.

They are going to therapy and to the doctor. They are going to acupuncture and yoga and running and swimming and coloring and dancing and they are trying so hard to be kind to themselves and to heal.

They are reaching out to each other and opening up to each other and they are discovering that they are not alone. They were never, ever alone.

They are deep in the depths and they are climbing towards the light. They are in recovery and they are recovering from the recovery. They are deciding not to have children again and they are announcing pregnancies and they are leaving things up to fate.

They are learning to turn guilt into regret and let it go and they are teaching and supporting each other on that road.

None of us were ever alone. When you felt like you were in the deepest hole and could not, should not ever be rescued I was right there too. I felt that too. Every year almost a million moms will join us. None of them will ever be alone either, even when they don't know it, because we are already here.

So, what can you do? Oh, so many things!

Tell your story, if you're ready. Telling your story, to a friend or on a blog or in the comments section on another post - telling your story anywhere can be so powerful and freeing.

Tell a pregnant friend: Tell her that 1 in 5 new moms will develop this complication of childbirth and that if she does there is so much help available to her.

Get and give support: Find a local support group and join! Go to get help or go to give it. Go. We offer three support groups each month, with more to come!

Most of all remember:

We are here. We will be here. You are not alone. You never were.