Proud Mama Support Services hosts a perinatal peer support group every other Saturday in Corvallis. Here are some common questions people have about our group and who it serves.
Who can come to the support group?
Anyone who is pregnant, recently postpartum, or continues to struggle with issues related to pregnancy, infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, birth, the postpartum recovery, or very early parenting is welcome to come.
What if I don't have depression but I'm still having a hard time?
This group is for you! Depression is just one of many possible ways that a pregnant or postpartum person may be struggling with mood or mental health. Anxiety is a very common struggle and we talk about it a lot in our group. We also help support people who are dealing with scary intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, traumatic or toxic stress related to the birth or other perinatal experience, and people recovering from postpartum psychosis.
What if I don't have a diagnosis?
It is not necessary to have a diagnosis or to get a referral from your doctor or midwife in order to come to the group. Don't worry about whether you are struggling "enough" to come to the group. We all have bad days. We can all give and get support. This group is for you!
Is there a cost?
There is no cost to participants. We raise the funds to run the group through individual donations and our annual event, Climb Out of the Darkness, a family-friendly event which celebrates the resilience and honors the struggle of those who deal with mental health and mood struggles during pregnancy and postpartum. If you are inspired to help support the work we do through the support group, your generous donation is greatly appreciated.
Do you offer childcare?
At this time, we are not equipped to offer childcare at the meeting space. Pre-mobile babies are welcome to come with you to the group meeting.
Who runs the group?
The group is managed and facilitated by Proud Mama Support Services. We are supported by Restore Physical Therapy, who donates the use of their space, and by other organizations in the community.
What training does the facilitator have?
Our facilitator has attended multiple trainings on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders through Postpartum Support International. She has completed a certificate in perinatal peer social support, and has additional training in Mental Health First Aid, and in supporting parents who have experience infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth or other loss. She is also a trained postpartum doula who has worked directly with postpartum women and their families for over a year.
I feel anxious about group support. I'm not sure it would help me.
We get it. Group support is not for everyone. It may or may not be a good fit for you, and that's ok. In our group meetings, there are both introverts and extroverts. There are people who are really struggling daily with anxiety and depression, and there are people who have been gaining skills for coping with and healing mood issues for a longer time, but have struggled deeply in the past. Wherever you are in your experience, you have a place in our group.
Come try out the group and if you don't like it, that's ok. If you want to leave early or only come one time, that is ok and we won't demand an explanation from you.
My kids are older/I'm not really "postpartum" anymore. Can I still come?
Yes! If you've been suffering with mood issues that stem from your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum experience and they have not been addressed or treated, there is not a magic time when they will just go away. It's never too late to get some support around these issues. We have had women come to our group who gave birth ten or twelve years ago and still found our group to be healing and helpful. Please join us. Your perspective and story is valuable and important.
What if I'm in crisis and I need immediate help?
If you are in danger of hurting yourself or others, please call 911 right now.
If you are not in immediate danger but you need to talk to someone right now, please call one of these numbers:
1-800-944-4773 (Postpartum Support International Warmline)
1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
While our support group is not equipped to provide crisis intervention, we do have a crisis protocol and we will respond to an immediate need for further assistance or treatment responsibly.
How many people come to the group?
We usually have between 6-8 people at the 9-11am group and 4-6 people at the 12-2pm group.
Is it therapy?
Peer group support is an evidence-based treatment for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Our group differs from group therapy because we stay within the scope of peer support. Our facilitator is not a licensed therapist or counselor, and we do not offer any sort of diagnosis or medical advice.
Are babies and kids welcome?
Pre-mobile (before they are walking) babies are welcome to come with you. Some people find that they get the most out of the group if their baby stays in the care of someone they trust and they come by themselves. Older children need to be cared for elsewhere as we cannot offer childcare at the support group. If you want to come to the meeting but are finding that childcare is a barrier, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Can dads and partners come?
Absolutely! This group is for everyone. Did you know 1 in 10 fathers experience postpartum depression? If you are a partners/dad who is is struggling themselves, or are coming in support of their wives/partners, we welcome you to join us.
I can't make it to your meeting time, but I still want support. What are my options?
Postpartum Support International has several online support group options. Click below for more information.
Another local option for group support is Hope For Mothers, which meets in Albany.
If you are interested in individual therapy, there are a number of therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors in our area who specialize in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-714-5859 and we will help get you connected to a mental health provider who takes your insurance, or if you have any further questions about our support group or the other services we offer. Thank you!