top of page

You Are Not Alone: Why Postpartum Support Groups Work

Postpartum support group in Denver, CO

The first year after having a baby can be an intense period for a new mother. You experience a tremendous amount of change in a very short period of time, while learning your baby and what it means to be her mother. Your focus has probably turned from caring for yourself as a pregnant woman to caring for your child. In this postpartum period it is important to remember that your wellbeing matters. In fact, it is critical to support a secure, healthy baby. A healthy bond between mom and baby promotes normal infant development and improves self-esteem for both mom and baby.

Changes in the Postpartum Period and How They Affect Women

Postpartum time is when mothers are the most vulnerable and it can be hard. Seek support in CO

The postpartum period is a particularly vulnerable time for a mother due to all the changes she experiences – many of which begin the moment the baby is born. Giving birth is one of the most significant biological changes that you can go through. Let’s consider some of these changes:

  • Rapid change in hormone levels that impact:

    • mood

    • pelvic floor

    • sexual health

    • hair loss

    • skin changes

    • lactation

    • bonding with baby

    • grey matter in the brain

    • dental health

  • Body size and shape

  • Weakened core

  • Birth injury

In addition to biological changes, you may experience immediate changes to your:

  • Identity

  • Relationships

  • Expectations of yourself

  • Confidence to accomplish daily tasks and meet baby’s needs

Whew! That’s a lot of change that can happen overnight. Is it any wonder that social support is particularly important during the postpartum period?

Social Support During the Postpartum Period

Social support during postpartum period is crucial

Research shows that social support is a significant protective factor against mental illness in the first year after giving birth. It is important for new mothers to feel supported, especially in this first year, and to understand that you are not alone as you face novel challenges and stressors.

Common Stressors and Worries

Common stressors for women in the postpartum period include:

  • birth trauma

  • breastfeeding

  • fatigue/lack of sleep

  • crying infant

  • having multiple roles and tasks

  • child health concerns

  • finances

  • changing relationships

In addition to these stressors, there are worries that are common to mothers. These worries may not trigger a stress response, but they are common thoughts about potential problems:

  • ability to breastfeed

  • whether baby is getting enough milk

  • mother-infant bonding

  • being a good mother

  • being able to meet expectations associated with children, housework, and their partner

  • body image

Postpartum Depression Is Very Real

As many as 1 in 5 women may experience postpartum depression. A woman with postpartum depression may experience the above stressors and worries, but may have more intense feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, irritability, and sleep and appetite disturbances. You might also have difficulty bonding or have a lack of interest in your baby, lack of pleasure in activities you previously enjoyed, and possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself.

* These symptoms can be scary and isolating, so it is important that you know that you are not alone and help is available.

Why Postpartum Support Groups Work

Postpartum support groups really work in Colorado

  1. Minimize distress. Emotional support from peers can minimize distress in scenarios where a new mom attributes any of these challenges or worries to personal shortcomings. For example, a mother who expected breastfeeding to come naturally may blame herself when her baby struggles to latch. Peer support can help you to reduce personal blame and shame.

  2. Improve confidence. New mothers like you do best when you are confident you can meet the demands of your various roles. Group support can help you acknowledge your accomplishments and reduce negative self-talk.

  3. Build connection. Relationships with other new mothers can reduce feelings of loneliness and improve mental health. Postpartum support groups are one way for you to connect with other moms and feel less alone.

  4. Accepting reality vs. expectation. As a new mother, you may expect this time to be purely magical, an idea that is perpetuated by the media. The reality is that this time can feel complicated and overwhelming. Connecting with other moms having similar experiences can be validating and offer emotional relief.

  5. Gain insight into your experiences. A group setting can help you understand your experiences better, what is happening in your body and why you might be feeling the way you do.

  6. Learn coping strategies. With all the changes you experience in this time, emotional overwhelm can be expected. A support group can offer the opportunity to learn new skills to help manage these feelings.

Postpartum support groups are an evidence-based approach that benefits mothers facing common challenges in the postpartum period and can reduce symptoms of postpartum depression. Sharing experiences can reduce loneliness, minimize shame, and improve self-esteem: all good things for mom and baby!

How We Can Help

If you’re a mom in the postpartum period (up to 1 year after giving birth), our Postpartum Support Group can provide you the emotional support you’re looking for.

A postpartum support group to explore your emotions, share daily challenges and feel less alone in motherhood.

Interested in registering for the Postpartum Support Group? Awesome! Please use the link below to get more information and sign up.

*If you are having thoughts of suicide or harming your baby, call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide or Crisis Hotline.

If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation

  2. Or, you can book directly online with the therapist of your choice

  3. Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life

Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:

Author Biography

Becca Tarnowski is a Master’s level student counselor at Regis University and intern at Catalyss Counseling. She moved from Chicago to Boulder, Colorado in 2003 where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from University of Colorado. Becca currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, their 2 young children and their dog. Becca is an intern therapist provider for the affordable counseling program at Catalyss Counseling. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

23 views0 comments


bottom of page