The postpartum phase means mental changes for both moms and dads. Whether a parent is experiencing typical "baby blues" or a more serious postpartum mood disorder requiring medical intervention, proper sleep, communication with the primary care physician and social support are universally recommended mental health benefits. Below are local resources in the Northern New Jersey area to know about before your newborn arrives, so you'll be prepared in case you need a little more help than you expected.
Postpartum Support International of New Jersey is dedicated to helping families, providers, and communities learn about the emotional and mental health of childbearing families. This is the place for you to get your questions answered about postpartum mood disorders for both moms and dads, talk with experts and learn where you can get immediate help.
In Bergen County, the Bergen County Postpartum Mood Disorder Treatment Center is an outpatient service available to all women residing in Bergen County who are experiencing postpartum depression.
If you need immediate help or are having a mental health emergency, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center in your area. You can also Text HOME to 741741 for help with any type of emergency.
La Leche League of the Garden State - LLL is open to expectant, new, and experienced nursing parents and is dedicated to providing encouragement and education of breastfeeding. Babies are always welcome at meetings and as their website says, "LLL meetings can be viewed as a buffet of ideas. Each parent is welcome to take what works for them and their family and leave the rest behind. A typical La Leche League meeting allows plenty of time for questions, and parent-to-parent sharing in a warm and supportive atmosphere."
You may have heard of MOMS Club but did you know the name is actually an acronym for “mothers offering mothers support”? These clubs are geared toward stay at home moms who are looking to connect with other parents and kids in the area. The group plans social outings and activities during the day, when at-home mothers most need the support. Playdates are also scheduled for children who are the same age each week. Of course dads and work-out-of-the house moms are welcome, but the main goal of the group is to be a fun, economical support resource for moms who may not have other ways to socialize and want to meet parents with children the same age as their own.
Garden State Mothers of Multiples - For parents of twins and higher order multiples, the Mutliples of America organziation supports families through research, education and membership in a local club of parents who understand just what you're going through. Garden State MoM's serves the entire state, but local clubs are listed here. It's worth a click to visit the Multiples of America site before the babies arrive to learn what to expect through member stories and evidence based research.
Blogs, MeetUp and Facebook - There are lots of blogs out there but not all are kept up to date. NJMom.com (They are not a sponsor!) seems to be the best place to find all local kid-friendly events, businesses and family services. Online groups in your town can be an excellent way to stay "in the know" and commiserate about the challenges and successes of parenting as well.
Let Mommy Sleep is also always here to help with newborn care and night nurse services to help parents get sleep and education, but what else should we add to this list? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!