. . . DID YOU KNOW?: 1 in 5 Mothers will develop a mood disorder during pregnancy or postpartum.
Don’t Be Caught Unaware
Because maternal mood disorders can strike on your first pregnancy or your fifth, it is best to learn self-care strategies for coping with and reducing symptoms before they appear.
If your are at risk of developing symptoms or if they are already present, Public Health Ontario recommends enrolling and participating in a self care workshop such as the ones offered through Mothereaze. Facilitators – with the aid of guest experts – create a non-judgemental and supportive environment that encourages interactive talks coupled with thought challenging exercises.
Our 4 part Maternal Mental Wellness workshops are an effective tool for the prevention and early recognition of symptoms or as an add on to existing anxiety and depression, treatment. By exploring the importance of maternal wellness and providing self directed coping techniques for understanding and fending off maternal mood distress, these workshop gifts new and soon-to-be parents, important tools necessary to ride the course of the often unpredictable storms of a mood disorder.
What To Expect
Because self care is important in establishing and maintaining wellness, each weekly session will centre around a research-based emphasis on mindfulness, nutrition and exercise.
Workshops will help you and your support team to:
1. Recognize if you are experiencing symptoms of maternal anxiety and depression.
2. Understand what maternal anxiety and depression is, what causes and what feeds it.
3. Find ways to understand, manage or overcome mood distress.
4. Learn to become the expert on maintaining a healthy, you.
For effectiveness, workshops are divided into two categories: General and Specialized.
For parents who may or may not be exhibiting symptoms of maternal anxiety or postpartum depression and who do not identify as fertility challenged, a woman of colour (black, latino, asian or otherwise) or a parent returning to or who has recently returned to, work.
Week One: Getting To Know You
Mood distress can begin at any point during the pregnancy and postpartum cycle therefore it is important that you—and your family—understand what maternal anxiety and depression is and what it is not, how to recognize symptoms and effective ways to manage them.
This 4 week course opens up by laying the ground rules necessary for mental and physical recovery after giving birth. As the most common complication of the birth period, we explore the biology behind anxiety and depression and the importance of the 6 week postpartum “laying in” period.
Briefly we’ll touch on how factors like unmet expectations contribute to maternal mood distress. Participants will collectively brainstorm ways to grow and set in place a social support network they can access when needed.
Week Two: Recognize and Manage Moods Through Self-Care
Self care is the process of forming healthy habits and making positive changes to your daily routine in order to sustain and improve your emotional and physical health. Discover how nutrition, mindfulness and exercise, influence how the mind, the body and the environment impact each other in various ways.
Discussions and demonstrations will focus on treating your brain and body as well as your surroundings using mindfulness techniques.
Week Three: Eat Your Way to Wellness
Your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. And what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. This week we’ll explore how what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and ultimately, your mood. We will look at ways to become aware of and identify personal stressors and the many different techniques available to manage them.
Discussions and demonstrations will focus on good nutrition, and developing your own healthy eating plan.
Week Four: The Importance of Exercise
Multiple studies have found a link between physical activity and lower rates of depression. Exercise – even in small amounts – can boost confidence about your inner abilities and outer appearance, decrease worry and the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression. Thoughts which often prevent us from accessing treatment.
This weeks demonstration will focus on various low impact techniques that support the pre-pregnancy, pregnant and postpartum body.
For parents who may or may not be exhibiting symptoms of maternal anxiety or postpartum depression and who also identify as any of the following: fertility challenged, woman of colour (black, latino, asian or otherwise) or a parent returning to or who has recently returned to, work.
This workshop focuses on the built-in stress of infertility when the dreams of parenthood have been deferred. Topics include ways fertility hormones might affect your mood and how the path to fertility affects our relationship with our partner. We will practice being mindful about feelings relating to our menstrual cycle, hormone treatments, pregnancy test outcomes or toxic situations such as a friend’s baby announcement or shower.
The stigma surrounding mental illness in the Black, Asian and Latino community, is quite strong. Most think it’s something that only happens to “those people.” Maternal anxiety and depression is not a cultural or a personality thing. Symptom’s don’t discriminate in terms of who they impact, however, if you are a woman of colour or have been living in Canada for five years or less, you are especially vulnerable.
Learn how to challenge stigmas, tear down barriers to treatment and access the support you need.
Going back to work after maternity leave can be an extremely stressful time especially if you suffered from pre-pregnancy or maternal depression and anxiety. The idea of being physically separated from your baby regularly for extended periods may trigger panic attacks, intrusive thoughts and much worry. Now is the time to pay close attention to mood and anxiety triggers.
Learn how to address workplace discrimination, bullying, going back too soon and what to do if symptoms return.