COLORADO SPRINGS – Even though motherhood can bring women a tremendous amount of joy, in some cases it can cause some emotional distress, too.
Now, a counseling group in Colorado Springs is using Mother’s Day as an opportunity to spread awareness about maternal mental health, while trying to remove some of the stigma surrounding postpartum depression.
Mindful Springs Counseling has several therapists who not just specialize in perinatal mood disorders, but they’ve gone through it themselves.
These include depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and in severe cases, psychosis.
The group is also planning to open a center focused exclusively on perinatal wellness by December of this year.
Their hope is that moms will feel empowered to step forward and find the support they need.
Aimee Solis and Amanda Baker work at Mindful Springs Counseling in Colorado Springs.
They know what it’s like to cope with these emotions because they’ve had to do it themselves.
Solis developed OCD when she was pregnant with her first daughter, now six years old.
“Lots of anxiety, lots of worry, some compulsive behaviors,” she recalled.
In Baker’s case, it happened during her sixth pregnancy, she had already experienced anxiety in her past which put her at a greater risk.
When she developed complications and her baby was born at 25-weeks, she suffered from PTSD.
“I was laying in bed, under magnesium, so that I couldn’t move, really couldn’t think and I could feel like my brain was really descending into this dark pit,” Baker said.
Both sought help to get them through it.
“I made the hard decision to extend my maternity leave and do some more intensive therapy,” Solis said.
“I actually asked to see a psychiatrist while I was there and he could put me on medication. my therapist actually came to see me when I was hospitalized so that was super helpful,” Baker added.
And now these mothers believe their hardship has made them better at helping others.
“I get it, I know what that feels like,” Solis remarked.
While setting a good example for their children.
“I know that they’re too young right now to really get it but one day, that they’ll be able to see that yeah, I’m human, I’m imperfect, I experience challenges but this is how I responded,” Solis emphasized.
“They could see their momma who worked really hard and that their mom could come out and be a stronger person,” Baker noted.
Their goal is to support other mothers and stand with them in solidarity.
“I just want people to know that they’re not responsible,” Solis stressed.
“And they’re not alone.”
The counseling group will be hosting a free support group for families at “Beginnings Birth Center” on June 13th at 1 p.m.
A licensed therapist will help moderate the discussion and children are welcome to attend as well.