Having a baby can be a time of pure, unadulterated joy. Yet for some moms, post-partum depression hits and leaves them feeling sad, depleted and helpless.
“After my second daughter was born… it was mostly me at home with the girls every day,” explains mother of two April. “I was really isolated, and the post-partum was bad.”
A visiting public health nurse referred her to the Dartmouth Family Centre’s Home Visiting Program. From there, April built up the courage to take her kids to programs at the Family Centre site. Having long suffered from social anxiety, April was understandably nervous.
But since she gathered up the courage last spring, she hasn’t looked back. These days, the family attends programs like Food & Families, where little ones can try their hand at cooking, the Wednesday community lunch and the occasional family dinner. She is also a regular participant in parenting programs as well. The little girls are also hoping to get back out into the big community garden this summer with a program known as the Sunshine Gang.
“I found my tribe,” April laughs. “For me, it’s a chance to get out of my head. I’ve made many new friends. And so have my girls.”
She loves to see her daughters busily chopping and slicing using special kid-friendly plastic knives at mini tables. It also makes a big difference to the family’s limited budget to have fewer meals to worry about cooking at home.
“We are all comfortable there. When we walk in, people are so friendly. Finally, we feel part of a community.”