Welcome!

Hello and Welcome to my blog. I am glad that you are here.

I am a mom who has experienced Postpartum Depression/Postpartum Mood Disorder (PMD). I am now a Postpartum Depression Awareness & Support Activist.

I entitled my blog "It Takes A Village" in reference to the African proverb that is so commonly known. I feel very strongly that we as a society have set very high standards and expectations of new mothers to take care of their children on their own, without support or help after the first week or so.

I think we have it backwards: New Mom's need respite and support whether they are well or not. We need support and encouragement, and someone to relieve us so that we can get some sleep and time to rejuvienate.


My aim with this blog is to bring awareness to the world, and support to other Moms (and possibly Dads) that are going through this experience. I am passionate about reducing stigma as it creates the barrier that keeps women silent and suffering. I want Moms to feel safe enough to share their story and get the support and help they need to get better.


I encourage you, if you believe you may be experiencing more than the "baby blues" to seek out help. You will not be judged or criticized. The goal of all list here on this blog are to support you and help you heal so that you may live the life you dreamed of with your child.


This blog is a work in progress, please check in often to see more updates and new information!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hopes High for first ever Canadian Study on mindfulness meditation and postpartum depression


Hopes high for first Canadian study on mindfulness meditation and postpartum depression

Claire Zlobin started her own peer support network after suffering from post partum depression.
Published: May 10, 2013, 11:33 am
Updated: 3 days ago
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Claire Zlobin knew something was amiss. After giving birth to her daughter, she found herself often crying, lonely and depressed. When she tried to reach out to other moms in her community facing the same struggles, she became frustrated at the lack of peer support programs available to connect moms experiencing post-partum depression. So she started one of her own.
The not-for-profit Life With a Baby peer support program recently celebrated its five-year anniversary and its workshops and programs are so high in demand by moms – and dads – that Zlobin plans to expand chapters right across Canada.
“Moms need other moms and dads need other dads,” said Zlobin. “We were never meant to parent in silos. The first step in happy, healthy child development is happy, healthy parents. It’s my goal to reduce social isolation and connect parents nationally.”
Claire Zlobin, founder of Life With a Baby, with her newborn.
Claire Zlobin, founder of Life With a Baby, with her newborn.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Best Start Maternal Newborn Centre, social isolation is a risk factor contributing to post partum  depression.
In a panel discussion Wednesday evening titled “Post Partum Depression: Are we Doing Enough?” Zlobin shared her views alongside Canadian singer-songwriter Amy Sky and prominent perinatal physician and researcher Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis who’s peer support study revealed programs such asLife With a Baby reduce the prevalence of post partum mood disorder in women by 50%.
“We had to do this very large trial to validate this simple intervention of creating a support network for new moms,” said Dr. Dennis. “I’m contacted by professionals around the world who want to implement this intervention.”
From left to right: Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis, Hiltrud Dawson, Amy Sky, Claire Zlobin, and Patricia Tomasi at the panel discussion, "Post Partum Depression: Are we Doing Enough" May 8, 2013.
From left to right: Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis, Hiltrud Dawson, Amy Sky, Claire Zlobin, and Patricia Tomasi at the panel discussion, “Post Partum Depression: Are we Doing Enough” May 8, 2013.
(Watch a replay of the live panel here)
Other risk factors include stress and hormonal imbalances which a handful of U.S. and one Australian study have shown meditation and other mind-body interventions such as yoga and Qigong to be effective treatment options in the prevention of post partum depression and anxiety. Nearly 18% of pregnant women are depressed during pregnancy.
A 2008 study by Dr. Cassandra Vieten from the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute looked at the effects of mindfulness meditation and Hatha Yoga on prenatal stress and mood and demonstrated a 20-25% reduction in stress levels and anxiety in pregnant women.
About to be released are the details of a study by Dr. Sona Dimidjian from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado showing the “favourable” results of a first-ever study done on at-risk pregnant women who continued a meditation and yoga practice into the post partum period.
During the panel, Dr. Dennis announced plans for Canada’s own study on mind-body interventions in the prevention and treatment of post partum depression. A”very large” grant request is being sent to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in September.
The study is to be spearheaded by Dr. Dennis and world-renown Canadian meditation expert Dr. Zindel Segal, a cognitive psychologist and depression specialist at CAMH.  Dr. Segal is one of the founders of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and has already shown meditation to be as effective as antidepressant medication in preventing a depression relapse.
“For women at risk, it’s definitely of value (meditation),” said Dr. Segal. “It’s a non-pharmacological means of prevention and should be offered in addition to other parenting classes and skills.”
Dr. Zindel Segal, one of the founders of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and Cameron Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Zindel Segal, one of the founders of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and Cameron Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto.
If left untreated, pregnant women who are depressed have a 50% chance of relapsing post partum, a time Sky, who spoke candidly about her own battle with post partum mood disorder calls the “fourth trimester.”
“When your brain goes to that place, I believe you’re always at risk to go to that place,” said Sky. “Some need pills but everyone needs skills to stay mentally resilient.”
“Meditation assisted me in easing my post partum anxiety,” said actor and playwright Rebecca Buttigieg. “It encouraged me to focus on stillness, breathing and to calm down.”
“I practiced journaling, had counseling and experimented with a variety of healers in iridology,  acupuncture,  kinesiology, EFT, and hypnosis,” said Lisa Molinelli who suffered from post partum depression after the birth of her son. “These methods helped me change my belief patterns surrounding my self-worth and accept myself for who I am.” Molinelli went on to train in hypnotherapy following her experience.
“Reiki was the complementary therapy that saved me from post partum depression,” said Genevi√®ve Bailey, mom of two who became a Reiki master to help other moms.
“I put my sadness and numb feelings down to the disappointment in the birth as well as the pain medications I received after my C-section,” said Nicole Meltzer of Balanced Body Mind Spirit. “I started working on the associated chakras (root, sacral and heart), receiving Reiki and other energy treatments, meditating and did hypnosis to deal with the emotions that came up. Almost immediately I noticed that I was connecting better with my son and husband. Post partum depression ended up being the biggest gift for helping me define what and who I wanted in life.”
Hopes High for first ever Canadian Study on mindfulness meditation and postpartum depression

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