Hello new mom, soon-to-be-new mom, new mom again, and still-feel-like-a-new-mom-11-months-in (that’s me). Here we are post-pregnancy raising a child, and it’s not always easy. Mom-ing is a whole new world of emotions and physical experiences. This week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness (learn more at Blue Dot Project ). This year’s campaign focuses on #realmotherhood and #noshame.
As both a mother and a therapist, I absolutely believe that it is important that we openly talk about the potential mental health struggles of new motherhood. As we normalize the lived experiences of mothers everywhere and recognize that 1 in 7 moms will experience some form of maternal mental health complication, then we can begin to give moms the space to voice their needs in recovering post-pregnancy. And that is inclusive of those having a clinical struggle or simply difficulty in recovering physically, difficulty breastfeeding, difficulty connecting with other moms, and many of the other areas that can quietly make mom-ing harder.
This guide is a quick look at the resources available in Kansas City to help with the postpartum experience. It is not all encompassing but rather a collection of resources that I, or mothers I’m close to, found helpful in the first year after baby.
Counseling and Support Groups
Counseling services can provide screening and therapeutic support for complications ranging from the ‘baby blues’ to postpartum depression and anxiety. Skilled counselors are also able to refer to medical professionals when necessary as well as provide various coping skills to manage various emotions. When seeking out a counselor find someone that has specialized training in postpartum support. These ar
e a few centers offer counseling or support groups for postpartum:
- Centimano Counseling is a “perinatal specialty practice” located in Overland Park. They are a premier practice focusing on postpartum disorders, as well as perinatal experiences of loss, infertility, or relationship dynamics related to child bearing.
- The Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Center offers a confidential phone line for support as well as various support groups throughout the metro. The also offer speakers for organizations interested in more information on perinatal mood disorders.
- Additional supports include the Kansas Chapter of Postpartum Support International in Lawrence and Postpartum Emotional Support Group at Shawnee Mission.
- Online information and support guides can be found at Postpartum Progress, 2020 Mom, and Blue Dot Project.
In addition to the emotional impact
of postpartum life are some other real struggles such as breastfeeding, physical recovery, getting your body (and zen back), connecting with your baby.
Breastfeeding Support Groups
Because breastfeeding is not as easy as we thought it would be!
- La Leche League of Kansas City
- Overland Park Regional Breastfeeding Support Group
- Shawnee Mission Breastfeeding Support Group
- Also check in with the hospital you delivered at or your pediatrician’s office for lactation consultants that can offer one-on-one support.
Physical Recovery Support
Because pregnancy and birth can take a toll and the mind/body connection is real!
- Massage: I highly recommend massage as a way to reset your body post birth (and also as a way to cope with pregnancy ailments). Find someone who has specialized training in working with perinatal women and with postpartum. I see Kristen Thomas at Glowing Massage Therapy and she was a lifesaver. Also check out Home Holistic and the referenced chiropractic offices below for more recommendations on massage therapists specializing in women’s care.
- Chiropractic: Chiropractic care can help realign your body as well as prepare you for the physical toll of caring for your new baby (hello neck crick from holding still for a sleeping infant!). Chiropractic care can also be great for your new bundle to help them realign from the birth process and prevent a flat head. I stuck with my chiropractor at Rockers Chiropractic because Dr. Rockers has a wealth of experience in family health. I’ve also heard wonderful things about women and perinatal specialty practices Align Chiropractic and Hands on Health Chiropractic.
- Pelvic Floor Rehab: If things still do not seem right in your recovery it may be worthwhile to talk to one of the specialists at Foundational Concepts or the Center for Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology.
Holistic Support, Fitness, & Connection
Because non-traditional and natural ways to feel better can help reconnect with yourself while connecting with other moms and baby!
- Home Holistic: This is an all inclusive holistic center in downtown Overland Park offering mom/baby yoga, breastfeeding support groups, massage, doula services, various workshops and an online support group for moms via Facebook. Check out Home Holistic for some post-baby zen (and pre-baby zen too!).
- Postpartum Doula: A postpartum doula can be magical. They swoop in to help with just about anything you can imagine from meal prep, household chores, making sure you and baby are settling in okay, to a variety of other services based on their background. Check out the available services from Welcome Baby KC and Nettle & Honey for more information on Postpartum Doula support.
- Placenta Encapsulation: Anectdotally many moms find placenta encapsulation to help combat a variety of new struggles including postpartum depression, low milk supply, fatigue, and overall birth recovery. In addition to Home Holistic and Welcome baby KC, Postpartum Peace is a great place to research this service.
- Fitness classes: Fitness for mom and baby! A great way to connect together while also beginning to reconnect with your own body. Check out the fun classes through Family Fitness KC and Fit4Mom.
- Mom & Baby Activities: In addition to fitness classes I found joining activities for baby to be a huge support in beating the baby blues because it forced me to get out of the house, helped me meet other parents in the same stage, and gave me tips and tools to play with my baby! We enrolled in a music class, a gym class, and swim lessons. Don’t forget to follow Kansas City Mom’s Blog for ongoing guides to activities to do with baby!
March for Moms Rally
This weekend May 6, there will be a March for Moms Rally in KC to improve birth care for moms. At the rally experts will discuss matters of accessible care, insurance coverage, postpartum support needs and more. Check out the rally event page for more information!
So there it is, #realmotherhood is beautiful AND hard. There is #noshame in seeking out support. And hey, Mom to Mom, you’ve got this.