Postpartum depression and anxiety are sneaky, lying, many-tentacled beasts. In my work providing postpartum family care to parents in greater Portland, I regularly come in contact with families who struggle to right the ship after the tempest of pregnancy and birth has passed. PMADs (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders)  can masquerade as unexplainable dread, disconnection, rage, and a desperate need to escape from the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s a bewildering, isolating experience for mothers and the people who love them.

Fortunately, postpartum depression and anxiety are treatable. With proper diagnosis, treatment, and assistance, these monsters mucking with our minds can be vanquished. That’s why Ballast & Buoy is a proud supporter of the Maternal Health Alliance of Maine, a 501 3(c) dedicated to helping families affected by postpartum mood disorders. This nonprofit startup is small but mighty, and they are working actively toward their goal of connecting the whole state with the best resources and remedies for postpartum mood disorders.

Over the past few months, MHAme has trained several Portland-area facilitators including myself to lead support groups for women in the postpartum trenches. Our format, the empathy circle, provides gentle companionship for mothers feeling overwhelmed by (or sad, anxious, or angry about) motherhood. It doesn’t matter if your baby is 4 weeks or 4 years old.You are not alone. You are not to blame. You are welcome here.

Please join us for any or all of our upcoming meeting dates:

  • Saturday, March 4th 10:00 am
  • Tuesday, March 21st 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, April 1st 10:00 am
  • Wednesday, April 19th 6:00 pm

All MHAme’s support groups meet in the Wishcamper Center on the USM Campus. The building (34 Bedford Street) is marked as Muskie School of Public Service and Osher Lifelong Learning Initiative. Parking is available behind the building and in the adjacent free parking garage that is attached to the Abromson Center.

MHAme will be launching a new website this spring with more information about their mission and methods. Until then, if you have questions about the support groups, call me at (207) 558-BABY.