Join Us at The Postpartum Progress Private Forum

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Postpartum ProgressSome pregnant or new moms just don’t feel comfortable having conversations on the Postpartum Progress Facebook page or commenting here on the blog knowing that what they type will be open for all to see. You might not be ready to talk about your postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, pregnancy depression or other illness in public, and that’s perfectly understandable. This is why we created the Postpartum Progress Private Forum, in partnership with a company called Smart Patients. If you’d like to ask questions or talk about what you’re going through without everyone else being able to see it, we’d love for you to join our forum. We hope it’s a place where you’ll feel safe talking with other moms who are struggling with the same things you are.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to this link: https://smartpatients.com/postpartumprogress
2. Underneath the Warrior Mom logo on the left hand side of your screen, input your email address and click “Request An Invitation.” 
3. You’ll then receive an email from Smart Patients inviting you to join Smart Patients. Be sure to check your spam file if you don’t see it in your inbox. 
4. Click the link in the email and choose a name and password. 
5. You will then be automatically added to the Postpartum community on Smart Patients. From that point on, clicking this link –https://smartpatients.com/postpartumprogress – will take you to the community

You’ll notice there are other communities at Smart Patients, particularly for those with various types of cancer, but you’ll want to follow those conversations tagged “postpartum.”

In just a couple of months we already have more than 160 members and the forum continues to grow as moms begin to feel more comfortable using it. Once you’ve joined, be sure to check out How To Use This Site and then read our Must Read Guidelines & Ground Rules.

We’d love to have you. If you have any questions or problems joining the Postpartum Progress Private Forum, please email us at postpartumprogress@gmail.com.

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Get Your Climbing Boots Ready, Warrior Moms – Climb Out 2014

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Defocused City Lights

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. If all this darkness is getting you down, never fear … we’ve got some fab news to brighten your day.

Get your “climbing boots” ready, ladies, because  we’re so very excited to ask you to save the date for the 2nd Annual Climb Out of the Darkness, which will be held on the longest day of the year –Saturday, June 21, 2014.

Climb Out

This year our event will be bigger and better than ever, so mark your calendars and GET READY TO CLIMB!! We’ll be honoring the struggle, getting out there and showing our Warrior Mom strength, and letting the world know about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

We absolutely can’t wait to climb with you!!

Photo credits:  © Gudellaphoto – Fotolia.com, © diego cervo – Fotolia.com

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Introducing the Warrior Mom Leadership Team

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Warrior Mom LogoThere’s something very exciting that I’ve been meaning to tell all of you about — well, a lot of things, actually, but I can only tell you about this one for today – but I’ve been so busy working offline for Postpartum Progress that I hadn’t gotten to it yet.

You may have noticed that this week’s posts here on Postpartum Progress were written by Warrior Mom Jen Gaskell. Jen is part of the brand-spanking new, amazingly talented Warrior Mom Leadership Team. The WMLT features a group of survivors and bloggers who have been dedicated over the years to raising awareness of postpartum depression and all other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. They will be blogging all year long on Postpartum Progress, sharing their wisdom and experience. I am beyond thrilled that each and every one of them said yes, because you can’t find a better group of peer advocates.  I’m sure many of you already read their blogs and follow them on Twitter, and if you don’t you should.

It has taken me nearly ten years to create an editorial team here at Postpartum Progress, mainly because this is my baby and because I knew it had to be a group of women that would bring the utmost in quality, care, trustworthiness and authenticity to this space.  Women who have shown dedication to helping other pregnant and new moms struggling with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Women who have been through this and come out on the other side. Oh and, of course, women that know how to write. I’ve found them.

So … [insert drumroll here] … announcing the Warrior Mom Leadership Team (in alphabetical order):

Jenni Chiu  MommyNaniBooBoo

Cristi Comes  Motherhood Unadorned

Esther Dale  Through The Tunnel

Robin Farr   Farewell Stranger

Jen Gaskell   Tranquila Mama

Christina Gleason    Well In This House

Lauren Hale  My Postpartum Voice

Jaime Harker    James And Jax 

Lindsay Maloan With A Little Love and Luck

Jennifer Marshall Bipolar Mom Life

A’Driane Nieves   Butterfly Confessions

Susan Petcher   Learned Happiness

Alexandra Rosas   Good Day Regular People

Diana Stone   Diana Wrote

Anne Marie Tonyan Lindsay  Do Not Faint

Miranda Wicker   Finding Walden

We may be adding a few more to the team, but for now I hope you’ll welcome them all and keep an eye out for their amazing words. And, I’d add, as always, we have the amazing Kate Kripke, LCSW, who continually shares her wisdom as someone who treats moms with our illnesses. Her posts continue to be some of the most popular ones on this site.

So, get set for even more great stories and content from Postpartum Progress!!

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Warrior Mom Conference Survey – Please Respond

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Today I’m happy to welcome Warrior Mom A’Driane Nieves with a VERY IMPORTANT survey for you to fill out. See below!!

I didn’t have any sisters growing up, so sisterhood was a foreign concept to me. I never joined Girl Scouts, most of my friends in school were male, and I never pledged my allegiance to a sorority of sisters in college.

In fact the only thing I’ve ever pledged my sole allegiance to is my country when I signed myself into her service at age 19.  Sworn to protect and serve not just my country but also my comrades in arms, I spent 4 ½ years being committed to something greater than myself; working and fighting alongside men and women with varying backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, and values, but bound to their country and each other by three core values: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. We lived together, we trained together, we worked long, exhausting shifts together, fought insurgents on the streets of Baghdad and the mountains of Afghanistan together, shared in the victories and advancements made because of our hard work, and held each other during times of loss, frustration and disappointment faced both at our home stations and abroad.

When I left the Air Force in 2006, I didn’t think I’d ever find a family, a comradeship like the one I had in service. I didn’t think I’d ever encounter brothers and sisters with as much fight, determination, and true grit like the ones I had during those four years and two deployments.

It wasn’t until January 2011 that I found such a family, a comradeship, and a sisterhood. Fighting for my life, a Google search led me to a community of women with varying beliefs, opinions, lifestyles, and backgrounds, but still fighting alongside one another on a different kind of battlefield: postpartum depression.

They were fighting for their own lives, for the safety and well being of their own families, but also for the woman next to, in front, and coming behind them as well.  In them I found not just what I had with my brothers and sisters in arms, I found something more, a sisterhood. Not only were they the fiercest fighters I’d ever encountered, their strength and compassion during even their weakest and most vulnerable moments took my breath away and strengthened me in my own fight against PPD.

Mothers. Advocates. Life-long friends. Sisters. Warriors. This is who I found 2 ½ years ago when I was clinging to my life and wanting to die just so I could find relief from the pain and guilt I was living with.

I wouldn’t have found them had it not been for Katherine, the fiercest Warrior Mom I know, and Postpartum Progress. She’s been in the trenches for nearly ten years y’all. TEN YEARS of putting herself out there, telling her story, connecting mamas to resources, fighting stigma, changing the conversation about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in the media and the medical community, and building a nonprofit that truly can change the world and how it treats maternal mental health.

Ten years in, she’s reached a turning point, and with Postpartum Progress Inc. the nonprofit, she’s ready, now more than ever, to bring about effective change that will give all mothers and children the strong starts they deserve…. but she needs the Warrior Mom community to do it with her.

She needs our help to keep fighting at both a national and local level. She needs us involved, committed, engaged, and aware in even the smallest and simplest of ways. We already showed her what we’re capable of by raising over $40,000 in just four weeks for PPI’s first Climb Out of the Darkness, but that was just the beginning. Over the next few months, PPI will be doing some very BIG, very EXCITING things to raise awareness on perinatal mood disorders and will be calling on the Warrior Mom community to get involved in the process.

Next year is the 10th anniversary of Postpartum Progress and some of its Facebook fans mentioned that a great way to celebrate would be to hold a conference. So I’m here today to get your feedback, Warrior Moms, on the idea of Postpartum Progress Inc. possibly hosting a Warrior Mom Conference in the near future.

Katherine’s vision for the such a conference includes an emphasis on advocacy, support, how to get involved in PPI, the understanding the science behind perinatal mood disorders, and celebrating all of the hard work the Warrior Mom community has done over the last 10 years and CAN DO in the future.

Right now such a conference is in the dreaming stage. Will you dream with us by answering the following questions? Your answers are anonymous, but will help us determine whether and how to move forward. Even if you don’t think a Warrior Mom conference is a good idea, that’s great. We want to know that too!

SO, scroll through the survey below. There are 10 questions. Answer them, make sure to click submit, and you’re all set! If you’d rather go to a link to take the survey, click here.

 

 

If having a conference to gather and equip our Warrior Mom army for advocacy and support PPI appeals to you and you’d like to help out in addition to answering the survey questions above, please send your feedback to me at bconfessions@gmail.com by August 19th.

I hope to hear from you, and more importantly, I hope to SEE you, everyone one of you, my sisters, my fellow warriors, in person at an event like this soon. Let’s do what we can to make it happen!

~ Addye

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