Note: The following is a news release from St. Luke’s University Health Network.
St. Luke’s is supporting moms experiencing post-partum struggles in a whole new way.
“Expectations” is a new post-partum support group held once a month at the new St. Luke’s Baby & Me Support Center in Bethlehem. The free meetings, co-led by St. Luke’s physical and mental health experts, will provide education and support to new moms seeking balance and validation after giving birth.
The new Baby & Me Support Center–whose grand opening was held Saturday, Sept. 9— is an ideal location for the meetings since it will serve as a central hub for all new mom and new family services, making it easier and more convenient for moms to get the help they need in those perplexing times after baby’s birth.
“Post-partum depression is the most common complication of childbirth,” explained Judy Illingworth, LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). “Between 11 and 20 percent of all women who give birth suffer from post-partum depression and only 15 percent of these women actually receive treatment. Our St. Luke’s practices are consistently screening for moms at-risk and referring them for treatment; this program at the Baby & Me Support Center is one of the ways moms can get the help they need.”
Studies show that the use of pharmacological treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy, both together and separately, have reduced depression symptoms by helping moms decrease negative thinking and giving them the proper coping mechanisms to reduce stress. The post-partum support group will discuss things like depression, anxiety, sleep, lactation, mood swings, relationship intimacy, work-baby balance, baby blues, nutrition/eating habits, self-doubt and stress management.
“The speakers will vary depending on the topic,” Illingworth said. “We recommend that our moms come to as many meetings as possible to listen to our scheduled topics, but we also make sure we allow for unstructured time so moms can present issues they are currently struggling with.”
WHEN: The group will meet on the second Thursday of every month, starting with the first session on Sept. 14.