Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Milk Wars, really? Why do we do this?

Here at POEM, we routinely encourage mothers to make healthy choices, based on the evidence available, to support a healthy family environment. So, of course, we're certainly not going to dispute the shown health benefits of breastfeeding. But, we in no way support the guilt-inducing pressure that mothers sometimes receive when they struggle with breastfeeding. Or, heaven forbid, they make the choice not to breastfeed.

We support these moms too. ALL moms. We don't walk in their shoes. We don't know all the reasons why mothers choose a particular feeding method. Sometimes it's complicated. They are doing their best, and they deserve our support and respect that they are the one who gets to decide.

August is breastfeeding month and there are messages everywhere about the superior choice that breastfeeding is. Yes, agreed. It is!  But can we not also acknowledge that balanced advice, based on each mother's situation is okay too?

Likewise, though, no mother should feel bullied to formula feed either. Again, her choice is based on what's best in her family.

Why in the world are we talking about Milk Wars? Can we not agree that while breastfeeding is the optimal nutritional choice, it is not the only thing that a mother will ever do for her child's welfare?

Time and time again, we see postpartum depression and anxiety exacerbated and complicated by breastfeeding challenges.  We must acknowledge:

babies need healthy mothers more than anything else.

Until such time that professionals who provide breastfeeding support and education for mothers are adequately trained to screen and assess for postpartum depression and anxiety, they must not discount the fact that this most common disorder impacts their breastfeeding experience and of course, their mothering experience.

Until such time that mothers are respected as the experts and their lives, coupled with true societal support for families, we must back off the guilt-laden messages that only good moms breastfeed.

Katherine Stone so aptly quotes Mayor Bloomberg in her post Back Off of The Mamas, "...nobody knows better than an individual woman what is best for herself and her family."

Milk Wars? We should be ashamed. Support moms, ALL of them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"SuperMoms" are depressed.

Boy does this go in the I told ya so file. This study shows what we've been saying at POEM for years.

 "Putting our own mental health right up there with our kids’ - perhaps even first - is probably the best way to go. Since kids are so highly intuitive, working on own happiness and mental health is the best thing we can do - though it’s easier said than done, it’s probably the best legacy we can leave." (Alice Walton). YES. YES. YES.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July Meetings

It appears we're having technical difficulties with our meeting map gadget. (usually on the top left of the blog page). So, our Moms Group meeting schedule for July is:

Saturday July 14th at 10am
Tuesday July 24 at 7pm

These dates follow our typical schedule - the 2nd Saturday of every month at 10am and the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm.

We meet at Northwest Counseling Services, 1560 Fishinger Rd, Columbus 43221. Click here for the Google Map link.

For questions about the meeting, or anything else for that matter, please call us at 614-315-8989 or email tonya@poemonline.org


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just Say No, I DARE you.

As I listened to my daughter's 5th grade class sing the DARE song at last's week's program graduation, I thought back to the Just Say No programs that I recall in school.  Did we have a nifty song too?  I don't remember. 

We're all familiar with the purpose and value of teaching kids how to stand up to peer pressure, value themselves and make good choices.  But, now that we're all grown up, how do we moms rate? 

Do you succumb to peer pressure?  Feel yourself saying "Yes" to commitments, activities even if you'd rather not? 

Yes, of course, let's have all the in-laws at our house. 
Sure!  I'll bake the cupcakes! 
Absolutely, count me in to help with the....

Maybe Just Say No should have a mommy curriculum.  After all, if you just say no to one commitment, what might you be saying yes to?  Yes to time to relax.  Yes to setting boundaries.  Yes to...

Tough love

I don't much like running.  I just can't do it.  Consequently, I've always had this admiration for those who run marathons and all that really tough kind of exercise.  Like there's some extra physical tough-ness gene I missed out on.  Or I'm a wimp. 

So I read with interest an article by Jillian Michaels on becoming a mother recently published in Self Magazine.  She seems pretty tough, after all.  Surely it's easy for someone like her.
But I really do know better.  Good moms are not made just by working harder.  You can work all night to get the baby to go to sleep, and still be unsuccessful.
It's not a toughness test.  Oh yes, there's endurance involved, for sure, but it's balance and expectations.  They are key.  Learning how to balance your needs with those of the child and the expectation that there really is no perfect balance.  And, just like the rest of us, Jillian struggles with those, too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, Officially!

It's May. The month in which we honor mothers. Here at POEM, while we serve moms all year long, we've really turned up our advocacy chops this month.

We’re proud of our long-running support services, but there’s more to do.  We must bring awareness in our community of how common, treatable and REAL perinatal mood and anxiety disorders really are.

You know it, right? You've been listening? You are not alone. You are not to blame; your illness is real. And with help, you'll get better.  

But in order to support the mothers who follow, the thousands right here in our community who will also struggle, we must reach out. Keep talking.

To that end, we're proud to share a couple recent accomplishments:

This week, The Franklin County Maternal Depression Task Force, led by Caring for 2, POEM and Columbus Public Health received proclamations declaring May as Maternal Depression Awareness Month from the Columbus City Council and the Franklin County Commissioners. 

In concert with this Public Awareness Campaign, the amazing genius-folk at
GSW Worldwide created a :30 PSA based on our longer video created last May.  Check it out!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thank you.

In celebration National Volunteer Week, April 15-21
to the many wonderful, beautiful, caring, giving, brilliant, dynamic and dedicated
volunteers that keep POEM going strong. To our
Board of Directors,
Support Line Volunteers,

Project Volunteers
and Donors:
each and every one of you are truly and greatly appreciated and needed.