PPPSS News & Events

We’re In This Together: Jill’s Story

When I started struggling after the birth of my 4th child, it really took me by surprise. When I found PPPSS’s online resources, I began to realize what was going on and I felt so much less alone, and not as scared. Just reading that other people were thinking and feeling the same things was a big relief, so I really want other moms to know that they are not alone. Recognizing what’s going on, and asking for help, is often the hardest step. But you can do it, and it is so, so worth it, for you and your family.

 

Jill

 

We’re In This Together is a photography series, coordinated in partnership with Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Good Mother Project, that offers messages of encouragement, hope, support and love to new parents.
For more information on how you can share your message, please visit: http://goodmotherproject.com/were-in-this-together

We’re in This Together: Felisa’s Story

I survived severe postpartum depression and anxiety with my first child. I felt so disconnected from motherhood and my daughter. Without Pacific Post Partum Support Society, I don’t know how I would have survived. I came out of it scarred, but stronger. Now a mother of two, I want to any other mother out there who is suffering to know she is not alone.

 

Felisa Friesen

 

We’re In This Together is a photography series, coordinated in partnership with the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Good Mother Project, that offers messages of encouragement, hope, support and love to new parents.
For more information on how you can share your message, please visit: http://goodmotherproject.com/were-in-this-together

We’re In This Together: Julia’s Story


I chose to participate in We’re In This Together because I have personally been affected by postpartum depression. This is my story.

I had my son a month premature. He was a healthy boy, thankfully, and was an amazing baby. My fiancé was extremely supportive and my mom was able to stay with us for a few weeks early on.

I never experienced baby blues or symptoms of PPD in the early months of my postpartum journey. My postpartum depression began to show itself about 5-6 months postpartum, but I played it off as lack of sleep and my hormones being out of balance. I never truly figured it out until about a month and a half ago, when I did some reading and realized that the symptoms I had been experiencing, mainly anger, was a common, but not often talked about symptom of PPD.

I was embarrassed, ashamed and guilty that I would get so angry over such tiny things. I didn’t want to tell anyone, including my fiancé how I was feeling, for fear that he and everyone else would think of me as a bad mom. I finally opened up to my fiancé after I reached my breaking point. It was 3 am and my son wouldn’t sleep. I had been with him all day and he had been fussy. I was exhausted and needed time alone but I wasn’t getting it. I began to feel anger towards my son and fiancé, and then that’s when it clicked: something is wrong, something isn’t right, something needs to change.

I began to read other mothers stories about anger and PPD and realized it was more common than I thought. I realized I wasn’t alone. I shared this with my fiancé and a few close friends and decided to get help. That’s when I decided to participate in this project.

PPD is one of those things that often gets downplayed or isn’t discussed enough. I am so happy to see more awareness around maternal mental health, especially this year. There have been a number of tragedies involving mothers losing their lives and mothers not seeking help because of the stigma of PPD/A. I know this because I personally have felt scared to seek help for fear of judgement.

I want other moms who might be struggling to know that they aren’t alone, and that it’s important they seek help. PPD/A shouldn’t be dealt with alone, after all raising children truly takes a village. We need to support mothers and maternal mental health, we really are all in this together.

I want other moms to know they are loved, they are doing a good job, and that having PPD/A does not define them as a mother.

This is my story, and this is why I chose to participate in this project.

 

To all moms everywhere: you are loved & you are enough.

 

Julia Stride

 

We’re In This Together is a photography series, coordinated in partnership with the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Good Mother Project, that offers messages of encouragement, hope, support and love to new parents.
For more information on how you can share your message, please visit: http://goodmotherproject.com/were-in-this-together

We’re In This Together project reaches out to new mothers

Mothers are helping each other through a new project.

Everyone needs encouragement sometimes, especially new mothers.

Pacific Post Partum Support Society, in conjunction with the Good Mother Project, is pleased to announce We’re In This Together, an uplifting photography project which asks mothers to share their wisdom and the words that they wish they could speak to their former selves when in the midst of new motherhood. The participants in this project share words of support, hope, and love with the goal of bringing light to the shadowy parts of motherhood and reminding themselves and others of the need for self-care and community.

We’re In This Together combines photos of mothers holding personalized messages that reach out to new parents who are feeling frustrated or lonely, or those who are experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety.

“When I had this idea for a photo series depicting mothers holding personalized words of encouragement and support for new mothers, it seemed only natural to partner with Pacific Post Partum Support Society. We’ve titled the series We’re In This Together because we want other mothers, especially new mothers, to know they are not alone in their experience, that someone is always there if they need to reach out, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Eran Sudds, founder of the Good Mother Project

It is estimated that one out of every six women and one out of every 10 men suffer from depression or anxiety following the birth or adoption of a child. We’re In This Together aims to resonate with parents in need of support and community.

“We are so excited about this project. The moms who use our services always want to find ways to give back to other moms who are struggling, they know how hard it can be and also that it gets better! Breaking the isolation, as well as the stigma that surrounds this issue, can make a profound difference in how much and how long moms suffer with postpartum emotional distress. This is one way that we can help break through the barriers that force many to suffer in silence.”
Sheila Duffy, director of Pacific Post Partum Support Society

Images and stories from the We’re In This Together project will be featured on the Good Mother Project’s Facebook, and Instagram accounts, as well as on this blog and Pacific Post Partum Support Society’s social media accounts. The posts will go up every few days from Monday, Aug. 14 until Jan. 1, 2018.

Keeping the light despite Seasonal Affective Disorder

People in the Lower Mainland are soaking up the sun this summer, but those with Seasonal Affective Disorder are already dreading the winter months.
Once the longest day of the year has passed in June, those suffering from SAD keep watch as the night comes earlier and earlier. It isn’t something most of us consider –the summer heat seems so distant from the cold and dark of the end of the year. But those whose energy is sapped by the loss of light are constantly aware of the change.
It is even harder for those who are also dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety, the conditions overlapping and making life doubly difficult.
So what can we do, when the chill of winter-to-come hits us in July? How can we conserve our energy and prepare for the dark?
We can practice holding on to the light, both literally and metaphorically. We can walk in the sun whenever possible, play with our kids as the light dances in the leaves above us. We can use the light around us now to carry us through the fall and winter. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
1) Soak up the sun. Get outside, even on days where it feels too difficult. Make it the one thing you do for yourself, when postpartum depression is telling you to hide away inside. Go outdoors one day, and then the next, until your body is full of fresh air and graced with light.
2) Swallow the sun. Whether or not you can make it outside every day, you can still boost your Vitamin D levels. It’s something we West Coasters sorely lack, and Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Check with your doctor about which type is best for you and take it daily, even in the summer.
3) Fake the sun. Once the dreary days hit, a light box might help you hold on to summer’s glow. Doctors and counsellors can recommend something that might work best for you but basically, light boxes help you hang on to the healthier aspects of sunlight and carry you through the dark.
4) Get talking. There are many therapies that can ease the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and your doctor can suggest the right kind for your circumstances. For some people, cognitive behavioural therapy has proven very helpful. But go with whatever works best for you. Talk therapy and support groups can be helpful with Seasonal Affective Disorder and postpartum depression and anxiety. The Pacific Post Partum Support Society is a good place to turn to, when the two overlap.
5) Create comfort. West Coasters aren’t the only people who have to contend with a profound loss of light for much of the year. Northern Europeans, from Norway to Denmark, watch wistfully as the sunlight leaves them behind for months at a time. But they have something we don’t – the concept of coziness embedded right in their culture. Koselig and hygge have become popular worldwide, but those of us in the Lower Mainland have even more reason to embrace the philosophy behind them. Though it seems like the wrong time for it, you can start during the summer. Add elements to your home that bring you joy, from figurines to a handmade throw rug in the kitchen. And take care of yourself – feed yourself well and get the best sleep possible.
There are many ways you can begin to manage Seasonal Affective Disorder now, when you have more energy than your winter self. And some of the methods of creating light in the darkness may also help lift the darkness of postpartum depression and anxiety, as well. Whatever methods you try, do your best to stay in the moment, enjoying the light and the warmth when you can.