I am a psychotherapist who runs a mindfulness based support group, the only one of its kind in DC, for new moms with babies six months and under. The group meets at The Well, a healing wellness center in Mount Pleasant. We learn and practice mindfulness and share about the ups and downs of new parenting, from sleep to breastfeeding to relationships post baby. Mindfulness practices include breathing and walking meditations, mindful eating, self-compassion practices and releasing guilt. There are up to 10 moms in each session. The group has been an incredible way for new moms to gain tools and resources to be more present to their babies, as well as to build a community of support that continues after the four or eight week group is over. Groups have been continuing to gather outside of The Well for play dates and other meet ups. Teaching mindfulness is a research based modality that has been shown to reduce postpartum anxiety, depression, and overall stress, meaning healthier mamas, babies, families, workplaces, and communities. With my background in mental health, I am also able to screen and refer those participants who need additional postpartum mental health support. One recent participant said: "Participating in the Mindful Mamas group was the most helpful thing I did during my maternity leave and while adjusting to the "new normal" after our daughter was born." The Mindful Mama Support Circles are an amazing way to provide support to the many new moms in Washington DC.
Funded by Washington, DC (June 2017)