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Glancer Magazine
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TO GIVE, TO INSPIRE | Mom2Mom DuPage Helps Struggling New Parents, Give Back on June 25



by Mindy Kyle


MOM2MOM DUPAGE

WHEATON–We are just coming off the fabulous month of celebrating our moms! Having babies and creating a family can be such a joy for the parents, but where do you go for help when that joy is replaced by anxiety, depression and stress?


Postpartum mood disorders are the most common complications of childbirth, affecting one in five birthing people. Yet, it receives the least amount of screening, education and recognition than other less common complications. Suicide attempts during pregnancy and after childbirth are increasing, nearly tripling over the past decade.





After experiencing depression and anxiety during her last pregnancy (in 2004), Lara Vazquez (with OB Nurse Sophie Bowerman) made several unsuccessful attempts to convince her local hospital to host a postpartum support group. Instead, the pair decided to use their personal experience and peer support training to begin Mom2Mom DuPage. Mom2Mom provides a safe and judgment-free group setting to receive support and education for the mental health issues many pregnant and new parents struggle with.





“The anxiety, despair and isolation I felt during my pregnancy were unlike anything I have ever felt,” says Lara. “I knew I could not be the only one feeling this way, and once I recovered it became my mission to talk about my experiences.” Mom2Mom has helped hundreds of parents by providing free peer-to-peer support groups to talk about the sometimes scary and challenging symptoms you simply don’t hear about or see in mainstream media. Leslie Bradley, once an attendee that struggled with depression during pregnancy and postpartum OCD, is now a group facilitator. She is a social worker and a Certified Perinatal Mental Health Specialist.





Most of the group’s funding comes from their annual fundraising event, Climb Out of the Darkness, co-sponsored by Postpartum Support International. The Climb provides an opportunity for parents, families and providers to gather to share stories, provide support, raise awareness and raise funds. This year’s Climb event is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 10:00 am at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. To attend or to donate, find the information at


Mom2Mom will resume in-person meetings this July in downtown Wheaton in a new location! They are seeking volunteers to supervise siblings, or in-kind donations such as refreshments and items for self-care “starter kits” for new members. “There are still so many new parents we need to reach,” says Leslie. “We must do better – for ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and our world.” To learn more or get involved, visit www.mom2momdg.org


ABOUT THE WRITER

Mindy Kyle is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and is a veteran of Chicago’s theater and commercial world as well as a graduate of the Second City Improv School. Mindy lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.







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