Gerber Memorial hosts support group for new moms facing anxiety
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is hosting a free weekly support group for new moms and moms-to-be who face anxiety, depression and other mood changes. The group meets every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Tamarac, Room 3, 1401 West Main, Fremont.
“Gerber Memorial encourages new mothers and soon-to-be moms to join our group and meet other women who are going through what they’re going through and know that they’re not alone,” said Rhonda Byrne, a social worker who will facilitate the support group. “When you get people in a group talking, a bond happens and that helps moms resolve their challenges together. Moms can create friendships through support groups, and they find someone they can count on for a whole range of issues.”
Studies show that meeting other moms in the same situation improves outcomes, Byrne said.
Anxiety and depression affect 2 of 10 new mothers across the United States and is identified as a healthcare concern in Newaygo County’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, conducted in 2017.
Byrne said a range of factors can affect a woman’s sense of emotional balance just before and after giving birth. New moms may experience lack of sleep, feeding issues, loss of appetite, feelings of isolation and guilt, and other challenges – all experiences Byrne said the support group can help address.
Anxiety and depression may also be brought on by factors that elevate stress, such as a sick baby, a complicated pregnancy, a miscarriage, and abuse and violence.
At the same time, Byrne cautioned that anxiety and depression can occur in new moms and moms-to-be who have outwardly normal lives. Other factors include social and physical isolation.
“As a mom myself, I remember having feelings of anxiety and being stressed and unsure,” said Prudi Foster, community health worker who is supporting Byrne as she facilitates the group. “We want women to know that they’re not the only ones who have these feelings. You’re not a bad mom because you’re having these negative feelings. We want women to know that with support, they can be well.”
For information, contact: 231.924.3073