crisis nursery's perinatal depression program
Perinatal depression affects one in every ten mothers. It can affect any woman, regardless of race, age, or income level. Oftentimes, there are certain risk factors at play, including:
• history of depression
• lack of social support
• instability in personal relationships
• financial concerns
• challenging life events happening near the time of the pregnancy or birth.
Perinatal depression is often confused with the baby blues because many of the symptoms are the same. However, symptoms of perinatal depression are felt more strongly and last longer than that of the roughly two week period of the baby blues. Some signs of perinatal depression are:
• persistent feelings of sadness
• irritability and anxiety
• uncontrollable crying
• fear of being an incompetent mother
• feelings of loneliness
• thoughts of harming the baby
• thoughts of death or suicide.
It is very important that if you are experiencing several of these feelings that you speak with someone about the warning signs. Reaching out for help can be a frightening and challenging thing to do, but Crisis Nursery will lend a hand without judgment to assist you through this difficult time.
Crisis Nursery is here to offer help for mothers at risk for perinatal depression throughout Champaign County in the form of our Beyond Blue Program funded by the Champaign County Mental Health (708) Board and community donations. We provide support to these mothers and their families in the form of support groups, parent/child interaction groups, crisis care, referrals to other resources, respite hours and home visits. For details about these different services, click here.
Crisis Nursery's staff is here to help you experience the joys of motherhood by helping you find effective ways to manage your stress and care for your baby. Please call 217-337-2730 for more information about our Beyond Blue program.
Beyond Blue Program Update
Back to School
As summer comes to an end and school returns to session, Crisis Nursery programs begin to pick back up as well after bringing summer groups to a close. During the summer, Family Specialists facilitated several support groups for families, in both the Champaign-Urbana and rural areas. Crisis Nursery offered these groups to Beyond Blue families and families whose children were Nursery age eligible. These groups served as a way for parents to network with one another while classes were out. Parents, especially mothers who are already at risk, are more likely to fall susceptible to perinatal and postpartum depression during periods of isolation and greater stress when their children are not on daily schedules typically created by the school year routine. Each group was open to Beyond Blue participants and many of the mothers from the program attended at least one session.
Crisis Nursery provided support and information for families whose children were old enough to return to school. Many of these families, some of which were Beyond Blue mothers, attended Crisis Nursery’s Back-to-School event in August and received information on school readiness and reconnected with other families during activities and dinner provided by D.P. Dough.
Family Specialists have provided outreach efforts to potential Beyond Blue families in both the Champaign-Urbana and rural areas of Champaign County. These efforts have included providing organizations with updated flyers for Parent-Child Interaction and Maternal Depression Support Groups dates and times, Beyond Blue brochures and referral forms that connect Crisis Nursery with families in need of services.
Time was spent at Carle’s NICU, Champaign Public Health Department, Rantoul WIC Office and Rantoul Head Start in order to continue the strongly established relationships with these organizations. Family Specialists also provided tours for teenage mothers from Community Elements in order to reach potential Beyond Blue mothers.
What we heard from mothers this quarter
A Beyond Blue mother, who during the last few weeks of her pregnancy struggled with the thought of allowing anyone but herself to even hold her infant, now utilizes Crisis Nursery Safe Children services. This fact in itself was a large success but her actions this month have taken staff by complete surprise. This mother, who has been receiving services for several months, recently shared that she would love to attend the support group held at Crisis Nursery but that her anxiety and fear of large groups were holding her back. She also stated that transportation was a large barrier in being able to attend the group. Fortunately, with the aid of community partnering agencies, we were able to set up transportation for this mother and her infant in order to attend support group. The mother willingly participated and was validated by the other mothers when it was her turn to speak. After group, she was able to use her gained respite time in order to take some “Mommy and Daddy” time away from her infant. She reported feeling less stressed after their date and more supported after attending support group. We hope to see her at future groups, making her services received at Crisis Nursery that much more well-rounded.