Bozeman event to highlight maternal mental health _ news _ bozemandailychronicle. com

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The postpartum experience for mothers can vary widely, and a Bozeman group wants to help destigmatize the issue and highlight area resources to help new mothers and their families.

On Saturday, the Maternal Mental Health Collective will be hosting an event titled “Moms Like Me – Shattering the Myth of the Postpartum Experience,” a first-of-its-kind event in Bozeman.

The free event, which will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Information about health at the Pilgrim Congregational United Church, will include three local mothers who will share their postpartum stories.

Following their presentation, a moderated panel of area professionals will discuss the postpartum experience.

That panel includes family practice physician Leah Anderson, Bozeman Health postpartum support group facilitator Nadine Grayl, certified midwife Stacey Haugland, lactation counselor Jamie June, naturopath Holcomb Johnston and license clinical professional counselor Kate Robinett.

The Maternal Mental Heath Collective, which is putting on Saturday’s event, formed last spring in reaction to some uplifting as well as tragic events that brought postpartum issues into the spotlight in the Bozeman community.

In October 2015, Missoula woman Melissa Bangs brought her one-woman show to Bozeman, a show that told her story of postpartum psychosis. Unitedhealth group information Bangs again came to Bozeman early in 2016 for a storytelling event to help moms craft their own postpartum stories and for a meeting of professionals to help create a more connected support community for mothers.

Then last March, Jennifer Knarr shot and killed her husband Joe and their 6-month-old son Daniel before killing herself. Health information systems definition Her family said that Jennifer suffered from postpartum psychosis following the birth of her son.

From those events, a “fire ignited” to help create a more comprehensive system of support for new mothers in Bozeman during their postpartum experiences.

A group of passionate mothers and providers from across Bozeman created the Maternal Mental Health Collective in May to put a spotlight on maternal health. Health related information The group includes mental health professionals, lactation counselors, doulas, naturopaths and others.

“Nobody wants to see a mother or a family or a child get hurt again,” said Sarah Webb, a licensed clinical social worker who is part of the Maternal Mental Health Collective.

The group and their education efforts like Saturday’s event are to help “take the veil off this issue that affects so many women and families,” said Robinett, one of Saturday’s speakers.

The collective wants to encourage moms to take care of themselves — mind, body and soul — and shatter the myth that “mom has to do it all,” and that “she has to be Super Mom,” Robinett said.

“It really is to normalize this experience,” added Webb, “so anybody struggling within the experience doesn’t feel the fear to tell someone about it.”

Both Robinett and Webb encourage pregnant women and new moms to attend Saturday’s presentation.

“They can come to this event and have a moment of healing,” Webb said.

They also welcome other family members, especially fathers, to attend.

In addition to organizing the Moms Like Me event, the collective has already created a comprehensive postpartum resource guide that includes information for mothers on everything from support networks and counselors to doctors, chiropractors, doulas and more, all within the Bozeman community.

In the future, the group hopes to make Saturday’s Moms Like Me event an annual event, as well as hold screenings of documentaries related to the postpartum experience and hold trainings for area professionals.

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