By Tania Bohbot, News Editor
Motherhood does not just start with a pregnancy glow. It does not just make your hair longer and your nails stronger. It is not only a time when you feel overwhelming joy due to the knowledge that you are with child.
Pregnancy is difficult, and the aftermath can oftentimes be worse. During pregnancy, one’s hormones are all over the place, certain foods are dangerous for the baby, and most others lead to nausea. There are biological changes caused by pregnancy as well — some individuals’ taste buds change and some have trouble controlling their bladders. For some, bladder control is so difficult that they need to wear a diaper. Many pregnant people cannot handle the changes in their weight and develop an eating disorder.
Some pregnant women are ashamed to admit that they develop mood and anxiety disorders postpartum, such as Postpartum Depression, the Baby Blues, Postpartum Anxiety, Postpartum OCD, Postpartum Psychosis, and more.
All of these bodily adjustments and mentality shifts can make a woman feel weak. But this is not what women are raised to believe. We are raised to believe that pregnancy is beautiful, that real women, can and should be, able to go through the motions of pregnancy with ease. We are taught that motherhood should be easy, fully fueled by the joy of having a child. However, that is not the case; as with everything in life, there is a difficult side to the journey and it is also okay to ask for help.
The Motherhood Center is an organization that provides support for new and expecting mothers. It is staffed by psychiatrists, therapists, specialists, and a kind, warmhearted staff that is driven to aid women in the difficult challenge that is motherhood. They host support groups, such as New and Expecting Mom’s PMAD and partner groups as well. In the New and Expecting Mom’s PMAD support groups, mothers are given the opportunity to surround themselves with the support of other mothers sharing their struggles. It is comforting for mothers to know that they are not alone and that the anxiety they felt and the hardships they have gone through are normal.
The Motherhood Center acknowledges that pregnancy and motherhood not only affect the mother, but impact any relationship the mother has. When a new baby arrives, the relationship between the parents expands to include the new baby. This change can be difficult and can put a strain on the relationship of new parents. The Motherhood Center aids partners to strengthen their relationships by helping them maximize intimacy and affection, prevent harmful fights, improve communication, compromise, co-parent, and more.
Beyond support groups and clinics, the Motherhood Center offers health and wellness classes, classes for parents, and training courses for those who would like to help themselves and become doulas. Along with these classes and support groups, the Motherhood Center provides a day program for pregnant and postpartum women.
According to the Motherhood Center, their “day program is a safe, comforting space for pregnant and postpartum women who are dealing with moderate to severe depression, anxiety or a similar perinatal mood disorder. Each day involves a holistic treatment approach including individual and group therapy, yoga, meditation, education and a lot of support.” This program includes an on-site nursery staffed by professionals who are experts in mother-infant attachment. This program is open Monday-Friday from 9:45AM until 2:40PM.
Motherhood can be hard, but it should not be anxiously done alone. The Motherhood Center works with all mothers to minimize the costs of their support groups and classes so that every mother receives the help that they deserve.
The Motherhood Center is located at 205 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016, on the corner of 32nd and Lexington — right around the corner from Stern College for Women. If you or a loved one is having a difficult time transitioning into motherhood, please do not be afraid to call or head over to the clinic. Everyone needs help from time to time, and that’s alright.
The Motherhood Center can be reached at (212) 335-0034. Their website is themotherhoodcenter.com and their address is 205 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016.
Photo: Max Pixel