By Rob Vogt
Local Press Writer
When a mom has a new baby, everyone seems to ask how the baby is doing, but few ask how is the mom doing.
After giving birth, moms can experience postpartum depression and the accompanying feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, and so much more.
Instead of care and support, postpartum can be greeted with isolation, judgement and shame.
Janessa Reimer wants to end the stigma and break down the barriers that surround postpartum.
She began with “My Postpartum Journey” a blog and Facebook page where she, using her own words, was blunt and honest about what she was going through.
Reimer discovered she really was not alone.
“Other people felt the same way,” she said.
However, she did not want to commute to the city for the support she and others needed.
Instead, Reimer decided to try to start something here in town.
The result is the Claresholm Postpartum Support Group, who meet regularly at The Attic downtown.
Speakers such as Patti Helmer-Desjarlais, a registered psychologist and mental health therapist at the Claresholm mental health clinic, are brought in to talk about various subjects.
“I try and bring people who are local,” Reimer said.
The next meeting is on March 4 at 1 p.m., where Allison McKee will talk on women’s health.
On March 18, local photographer Lauren Billey will be doing a mini-Easter photo shoot session for moms, and in April a dietician will be coming to do a talk.
They also do “Mommy and Me” fitness every other Saturday at Sparta House.
The group started last December, and has been regularly attracting five or more people. The Facebook page, which welcomes stories and posts on the theme, has 61 people.
“It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” Reimer said of the response.
The challenge is organizing activities for moms who all have different schedules.
There is no cost to join the group, and there is a $10 charge for “Mommy and Me” fitness sessions.
Anyone interested in more information can visit the Facebook pages, “Claresholm Postpartum Support Group“ and “My Postpartum Journey”.
“I just really want to help moms out there,” Reimer said. “They’re not alone and they can find the support they need.”
She also wants to end the stigma and help people understand.
“I just want to bring it to light,” Reimer said. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
By Rob Vogt