Sentara Martha Jefferson HealthWise: Support groups for new parents
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Becoming a new parent can be tough, but Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital offers some resources to help.
These include a variety of support groups in several time slots to meet the need of parents. Parents are able to attend in person or virtually.
For example, the daytime support group on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. is made up mostly of moms who are still on maternity leave or moms who are at home with their children.
There are first-time and more experienced moms in the group.
The Welcome to Motherhood group meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month. This group covers a wide range of topics, such as problem solving and encouragement.
"Welcome to Motherhood is a great group if you are a new mom or an experienced mom and just need some of that peer support to encourage you and make sure you're not alone in what you're experiencing," said Laura Salvatierra, the maternity education programs team coordinator at Sentara MJH.
On the second and fourth Thursdays, the Out of the Blues group, which is for parents who are experiencing symptoms of perinatal mood or anxiety disorders, meets.
"There's no diagnosis necessary for that group, but if you feel like you're having difficulty transitioning to this new role in your mothering journey, that is a great space for you," Salvatierra said.
Additionally, there is an in-person walk-and-talk group that meets at the Outpatient Care Center on Tuesday mornings.
Then on every other Wednesday, there is a parenting group for survival, with aims to help both parents, and is held during the after-work time frame.
"We always try to have both a mom and a dad co-facilitating that group so that there's somebody there to support both moms and dads," said Salvatierra.
The peer support groups are led by others who are going through similar experiences, and they are meant to help parents process the new experience of parenthood.
"The purpose of them is to remind you that you are not alone in this space, that there are other parents, other moms and dads that are also struggling because parenting is hard and it’s not intended to be done by yourself," Salvatierra said.
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