Warrior Mom® Conference Needs List: A Self Care Tool

Note: This guest post comes from Warrior Mom® Conference speaker Ali Kozoll. While she wrote it thinking of all of the many conference attendees soon joining us in Atlanta on October 14th and 15th, we hope this “Needs List” is a self care tool all Warrior Moms will find useful as we learn together how to better advocate for ourselves. Thanks again to our generous sponsors, who make the conference and all we do here at Postpartum Progress possible!

WMC Needs ListAs an anxious and deeply emotional person I get overwhelmed quite easily, so for someone to ask me to take time to figure out what I need makes me want to cry-laugh while hiding underneath the covers of my bed. And though I initially resisted this practice the first few times I tried it, I’ve found I make it through my events in a much healthier manner than before I made this a habit.

What is a Needs List?

A needs list is just what it sounds like: a list of needs, made with intention. You can use this list any time you find yourself preparing for an emotionally-based occasion, which, let’s be real, could be any day of the week. I offer this tool to you now in anticipation of our Warrior Mom® Conference, which I understand will be a wonderfully rich and beautifully emotional weekend of connection, discovery, kinship, and healing. Making a Needs List will set you up to feel as prepared, supported and whole as possible during a potentially emotionally charged (even if in a good way) weekend or event.

Getting Started

Before you begin, set aside 15-30 minutes to spend with yourself to build this list. Start by asking yourself the following question…

“What do I need to feel full, whole and taken care of?”

Now, if you’re anything like me, that question alone causes anxiety. But never fear, we’re going to break it down more simply in order to cultivate the possibility of fulfilling our own needs. Sometimes the process of admitting we actually have needs or the concept of getting our needs met can bring up a well of emotion, so if it does, please know that you are not alone. Allow any and all emotions that may arise to flow through you and out. You might feel grief, anxiety, skepticism, anger or any combination of myriad emotions (Remember my resistance to this process? Yeah, that was anger). Breathe with it, sigh it out, or perhaps put a pen to paper and write about it. However you choose, vent it out. This way you’re clearing the cobwebs in the way of creating your Needs List.

What is a Need?

Needs are simple things that feel doable and not overwhelming. If anything on your list does feel overwhelming or anxiety-producing, it is not a need. It may be a want and/or potentially unnecessary for this list. The things on this list are for YOU. This is not to be confused with a “to-do” list and it is not a list of things you need to do for others.

The Needs List Journaling Page

Next, you’re going to break down the main question into three areas of focus. You’re going to fulfill the needs of your Mind, your Body and your Heart by answering these questions.

wmc needs list worksheet examples

(click to view larger)

“What does my Mind need to feel full, whole, and taken care of?”

“What does my Body needs to feel full, whole, and taken care of?”

“What does my Heart need to feel full, whole, and taken care of?”

For each section, write down your answers for before, during & after the event. As you will see in the examples, it is important for you to be as specific as possible. Vagueness keeps things more abstract, whereas being specific grounds each item on your list.

Download the free Warrior Mom® Conference Needs List journaling page here and let the examples be only a guide as you explore what your mental, physical, and emotional needs are as we get closer to the Warrior Mom® Conference.  Your personal needs will be different. Your goal is to have at least one thing in each section.

Finding Support

The fourth and final step in this process is perhaps the most important…

Share your list with someone you trust will support you (ie: hold you accountable). Find another Warrior Mom to share your list with, perhaps, or a loved one at home who knows who you are planning to take care of yourself and will support you in doing so. Your ‘needs advocate’ could be your partner, another family member, a close friend, or even your therapist.

Because I frequently travel for work leading emotionally charged events, I always make my Needs List leading up to my departure, and so I hope you will find this helpful. You can try it before the Warrior Mom® Conference and then use it moving forward to prepare for things like big outings, family holidays or anything that feels potentially draining or emotionally exhausting. I won’t lie to you. It takes constant commitment, this self-love, but in the words of Oscar Wilde “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”. And who doesn’t want that?

Remember, no stress. This is not a task to accomplish, this is a radical commitment to your own well being. You can fulfill your own needs, mama, and you deserve it.


Northside Hospital Is a Title Sponsor for the 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference

Northside Title SponsorEditor’s Note: We sat down with Dr. Diane Wulfsohn, clinical psychologist at Atlanta’s Northside Hospital to learn more about the hospital’s maternity services and commitment to educating their expectant families about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like PPD. We are grateful for their sponsorship of our 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference and look forward to seeing Dr. Wulfsohn in person in October.


The Warrior Mom® Conference is proud to introduce Northside Hospital as a 2016 title sponsor. One of our guiding beliefs at Postpartum Progress is that “perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are a women’s health and a children’s health issue.” Northside Hospital’s commitment to all aspects of women’s health care makes the partnership between their organization and Postpartum Progress a natural fit.

While women’s healthcare in all aspects is one of Northside Hospital’s leading services, they are most well-known for their outstanding maternity and infant care, including a 34-bed high-risk pregnancy unit and a Level III NICU.

For more than a generation, Northside Hospital has been Atlanta’s leading maternity care provider, delivering more babies per year than any other community hospital nationwide. (About 15,000 a year at their main campus in Sandy Springs! That’s a LOT of babies!)

With so many new moms coming through their doors every year, Northside Hospital is dedicated to ensuring both moms and babies get the best pre- and postnatal care available, which includes making sure moms are informed about postpartum depression and its effects on new mothers and families.

Through a vast array of childbirth education materials, including classes available in-person and online, moms are introduced to the symptoms of postpartum depression, made aware of the risk factors, and assured that the illness can be overcome.

Moms who are identified as at-risk while in the hospital, either by nurses noticing signs of postpartum mood disorders, concerned partners, or by patients self-identifying and requesting help, are visited by staff members in the Behavioral Health Services department. Those visits are free of charge for moms.

Northside Hospital, through the Behavioral Health Services department, offers screening and treatment for postpartum depression. Services at the Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic are offered on a sliding scale for those who may need financial assistance while trying to get better.

We are thankful for Northside’s support of new moms, babies, families, and the Warrior Mom® Conference. Together we can make a positive difference in the lives of mothers battling postpartum mood and anxiety disorders.
Still interested in attending the Warrior Mom® Conference? Add yourself to our waitlist by clicking Get Your Warrior Mom Con Ticket Here.

Announcing Speakers for Our Sold Out Warrior Mom Conference

We are thrilled to announce our speakers for the Warrior Mom Conference… as well as the fact that the Warrior Mom Conference is SOLD OUT!

Warrior Mom Conference Sold Out

Sold Out Conference

That’s right. With just under four months left until the upcoming Warrior Mom Conference, Postpartum Progress has sold out all of the tickets for the event which takes place October 14-15, 2016 at The Georgian Terrace Hotel.

We’re so excited to know that 175 Warrior Moms will gather together to learn more about postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, share their story, and gather information and ideas on how they can help moms in their own communities. We can’t wait to meet everyone.

We also can’t wait to hear and interact with our amazing speakers.

Warrior Mom Conference Speakers

In January 2016, we opened submissions for this year’s Warrior Mom® Conference and were inundated with almost 50 speaker applications. They came from survivors and experts, non-profit founders and peer volunteers, women just beginning their journeys and women who are veterans of maternal mental health.

You wanted to talk about so many important topics: self-care, advocacy, underserved populations, art therapy, cultural norms, motherhood and guilt, the role your partner played in your wellness or pain, adoption, loss, hope, and more. But despite their varied backgrounds and subjects, each submission hit at the core of what this event aims to do: We use our experiences to bring people together and empower them with information and community.

We are thrilled to triple our speaker roster this year, and will be running concurrent break-out sessions to bring you a total of over 38 peers and experts in maternal mental health for 30 sessions over 2 days of learning and connecting, with the help of our incredible sponsors. It is with enormous gratitude that we introduce our 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference speaker roster to you and hope you are as excited and inspired as we are.

2016 Warrior Mom Conference Speakers

Nicole LetourneauNicole Letourneau, RN PhD FCAHS; Keynote Speaker; Professor, University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing and Cumming School of Medicine. Session title: Successful Peer Support.


Kristina GrumKristina Grum; Breakout Speaker; Certified Parent Educator. Session title: Parenting Dreams vs. Realities.


Samantha Meltzer-BrodySamantha Meltzer-Brody, MD; Keynote Speaker; Associate Professor and Director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program, UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Session title: Health Disparities in Maternal Mental Health: What Can Be Done?


Shannon HennigShannon Hennig, MA; Breakout Speaker; Postpartum Progress, Research Coordinator. Session title: Postpartum Progress Research and You.


Kate KripkeKate Kripke, LCSW; Keynote Speaker; Founder, Postpartum Wellness Center of Boulder. Session title: Everyday Self-Care: Honoring Ourselves, Body & Mind.


Pauline CamposPauline Campos; Special General Session Speaker; Author, AspiringMama.com. Session title: Sweeping it Under the Rug: Breaking the Stigma of Maternal Mental Health in the Latino Community.


Melanie Mendez-GonzalesMelanie Mendez-Gonzales; Special General Session Speaker; Blogger, Speaker: QueMeansWhat.com. Session title: Sweeping it Under the Rug: Breaking the Stigma of Maternal Mental Health in the Latino Community.


Laurie SyphardLaurie Syphard; Breakout Speaker; Warrior Mom, Climb Out of the Darkness® Team Leader. Session title: No Such Thing as a Small Climb.


Samantha DowdSamantha Dowd, CFRE; Breakout Speaker; Warrior Mom, Climb Out of the Darkness® Team Leader. Session title: No Such Thing as a Small Climb.


Jasmine BanksJasmine Banks, M.S. Community Counseling; Breakout Speaker; Postpartum Progress Program Manager, Climb Out of the Darkness®. Session title: No Such Thing as a Small Climb.


Katherine StoneKatherine Stone; Special General Session Speaker; Founder & CEO, Postpartum Progress. Speaking at Welcome and Closing.


Jenna HatfieldJenna Hatfield; Breakout Speaker; Postpartum Progress Program Manager, Online Awareness & Engagement. Session title: Social Media Clinic.


Olivia ScobieOlivia Scobie M.A., CPCC, ACC, MSP; Breakout Speaker; Founder, Postpartum Support Toronto. Session title: Reducing the Impact of Societal Pressure on Motherhood with Community Supports.


Bianca SpragueBianca Sprague, CLD, CLE, CBE; Breakout Speaker; Cofounder, www.bebomia.com and www.biancasprague.com. Session title: Reducing the Impact of Societal Pressure on Motherhood with Community Supports.


Heather ColemanHeather Coleman; Panelist; Writer, Speaker. Session title: The Power of Storytelling.


Graeme SeabrookGraeme Seabrook; Panelist; Blogger, postpartummama.org. Session title: The Power of Storytelling.


Ariane ArumburoAriane Aramburo; Panelist. Executive Producer, Co-Anchor, KTUU. Session title: The Power of Storytelling.


Jennifer SillimanJennifer Silliman; Panelist; Producer, Dark Side of the Full Moon. Session title: The Power of Storytelling.


Claire Kerr-ZlobinClaire Kerr-Zlobin; Panelist; Founder and Executive Director, Life With A Baby & Healthy Start Healthy Future Inc. Session title: Leaders in PPD Support.


Lisa TremayneLisa Tremayne, RN, C-PPD, CBC, CBE; Panelist; Director, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder Program, Monmouth Medical Center. Session title: Leaders in PPD Support.


Cheryl HartCheryl Hart; Panelist; Founder & Executive Director, Supporting Mamas. Session title: Leaders in PPD Support.


Sheila DuffySheila Duffy; Panelist; Director, Pacific Post Partum Support Society. Session title: Leaders in PPD Support.


Kelly BauerKelly Bauer; Breakout Speaker; Blogger, Motherhoodmisfit.com. Session title: Mompostors: Why Real Moms Feel Like Frauds.


Ashlee RahmlowAshlee Rahmlow, LCSW; Panelist; Founder, Mom 2 Mom Oshkosh. Session title: Self-Disclosure & Healthy Boundaries in Peer Support.


Andrea BatesAndrea Bates, LCSW; Panelist; Volunteer, PES North Carolina & Blogger. Session title: Self-Disclosure & Healthy Boundaries in Peer Support.


Alexia JohnstoneAlexia Johnstone, MA, LMHC; Panelist; Expressive Arts Therapist. Session title: Self-Disclosure & Healthy Boundaries in Peer Support.


Joyce MinerJoyce Miner, LMHC; Panelist; Mental Health Counselor. Session title: Self-Disclosure & Healthy Boundaries in Peer Support.


Margaret RiceMargaret Rice, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, WHNP-BC, ONP-C; Panelist; Nurse Practioner, New England Baptist Hospital & Norcap Lodge Comprehensive Addictions Program. Session title: Self-Disclosure & Healthy Boundaries in Peer Support.


Ali KozollAli Kozoll; Self Care Workshop Presenter; S Factor: Director of Teacher Training & Curriculum Development, Warrior Mom Ambassador. Workshop title: Body Love: Mindfulness Through Movement.


Amy-Rose WhiteAmy-Rose White, LCSW; Breakout Speaker; Executive Director, Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. Session title: Do What You Can Do: Volunteer Advocacy.


Sandy CelauroSandy Celauro; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Certified Instructor, MOSSA Group Active and Zumba. Workshop title: Warrior Mom Dance Party.


Emily NewtonEmily Newton; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Certified Yoga Instructor. Workshop title: Yoga & Meditation.


Sarah KontranzaSarah Kotranza; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Warrior Mom Ambassador. Workshop title: Warrior Mom Cross Stitch.


Danielle NelsonDanielle Nelson, LSW; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Crisis Clinician, Warrior Mom Ambassador, Writer. Workshop title: Handwork as Stress Relief – Warrior Mom Yarn Circle.


Kristin JacobsenKristin Jacobsen; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Owner, FIT4MOM DuPont & Lacey. Workshop title: Warrior Mom Walking Group/Warrior Mom Running Group.


Tara JeffersonTara Jefferson; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Blogger and Founder, therenaissancesuite.com. Workshop title: Your Self Care Plan.


Candice BrothersCandice Brothers; Self Care Workshop Presenter; Artist, Warrior Mom Ambassador. Workshop title: Color Me Calm.


Full bios for all speakers are also available.

If you still want to attend the conference, you can put yourself on our Wait List. To do so, visit the Warrior Mom Conference page, click on Get Your Warrior Mom Con Ticket Here, and then click on Get Tickets. You’ll enter your information for the Wait List there.

We’re excited to see you in October!

Warrior Mom® Conference Announcement: Keynote and General Speakers & National Sponsor

Announcement Graphic 2

There are only 155 days until Warrior Moms from around the world gather in Atlanta on October 14th and 15th for the second annual patient-centered conference on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, the 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference. We’re proud to have grown by 40% this year, welcoming 175 survivors, patients, advocates, and supporters to The Georgian Terrace Hotel and to have tripled our speaker roster.

We have so many great things in store for this year’s conference but we can’t share it all just yet. Today, we have some exciting news to share as we introduce you to our three Keynote Speakers, two Special General Session Speakers, and welcome Cotton Babies back as our National Conference Sponsor!

Announcing Our 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference Keynote and Special General Session Speakers

This year’s theme of Together, Stronger highlights the groundbreaking work of the peer support and advocacy community with these incredible leaders in Maternal Mental Health. They may come to speak to us about peer support, self care, and health equity, but their underlying messages are the same: When we come together as our best selves, we can change the world for families in need.

Kate Kripke

Kate Kripke, Keynote Speaker at 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference -postpartumprogress.comKate Kripke, LCSW is a perinatal mental health specialist with a private practice in Boulder, CO. She founded the Postpartum Wellness Center of Boulder in an effort to bring skilled and appropriate perinatal mental health support to women and families around Boulder County, CO. Outside of her practice, Kate is committed to increasing education and reducing the stigma and shame surrounding postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) link PPD. Through these efforts, Kate coordinated a project through Boulder County Public Health that focused on promoting early detection and treatment of postpartum depression, she is a state coordinator for Postpartum Support International, is the Director of the Boulder County Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder Task Force, and she sits on the Pregnancy-Related Depression State Advisory Committee convened by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In addition, Kate also conducts frequent training on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders at hospitals and health centers for obstetricians, pediatricians, educators, doulas, and nurses. Kate has been a regular contributor to Postpartum Progress since 2010. She’ll be speaking at Everyday Self-Care: Honoring Ourselves, Body & Mind.

Pauline Campos

Pauline CamposPauline Campos is the author of the Amazon Best-Selling memoir, BabyFat: Adventures in Motherhood, Muffin Tops, & Trying to Stay Sane. As Latina Magazine’s #DIMELO love, advice, & relationship columnist, Pauline’s no-hold-barred approach to giving solicited advice has endeared her to the 4.5 million readers who like to stop her in public restrooms and tell her that she’s hysterical. Pauline is the Aspiringmama with the blog to match, a writing coach and freelance editor, and is founder, publisher, editor, and heads up the rest of the crew at www.girlbodypride.com. Her mission as a body image, eating disorder, and mental health advocate and coach, is to inspire women to love themselves where they are in the present moment in order to find true peace and happiness in all aspects of their lives.

In her spare time, Pauline is an award-winning artist, photographer. Her photograph, “Mexican in Maine”, was featured in the From Her: An Art Show About Women For Women show presented by the El Pueblo de Los AngelesHistorical Monument and El Pueblo Park Association and another,”FacePaint”, has earned her the recognition of her peers, most notably as a BlogHerPhoto of the Year honoree. Pauline also has been recognized as a 2015 Top Bloguera by #LATISM, was a Hispanicize TECLA 2015 TECLA Best Parenting Blogger nominee. She also has been featured on NPR’s Latino USA with Maria Hinajosa, Ray’s Latino Talk podcast, and on Redbook Magazine online.

Pauline’s second book, On Raising Wonder Woman: Reflection, Perceptions, & Well-Placed F-Bombs, is coming soon! Pauline’s art and photography be found on Etsy, Society 6, and RedBubble. She lives in northern Maine with her daughter, The Husband, who rescue dogs, a beta fish, a moose, a flying squirrel, and a bear. She will be speaking at Special General Session – Sweeping it Under the Rug: Breaking the Stigma of Maternal Mental Health in the Latino Community.

Dr. Nicole Letourneau

Nicole Letourneau, Keynote Speaker at 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference -postpartumprogress.comNicole Letourneau RN PhD FCAHS authored Scientific Parenting: What Science Reveals About Parental Influence (2013). She is Professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing and Cumming School of Medicine (Pediatrics & Psychiatry), holds the Palix/ACHF Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health, and was Canada Research Chair in Healthy Child Development. She leads the CHILDStudies.ca Program studying parenting, attachment and child development in the context of maternal depression and other stress. She develops evidence to guide best practice in parent-child support and intervention, such as her MOMS Link program. She has attained over $32 million in research funding, with nearly $9 million as lead. She has received many honors, including Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 (2007), Excellence/Merit Research awards from Canadian nurses’ provincial associations (2011 & 2015) and named one of four Change Agents by Alberta’s Apple magazine (2016). She has published 120+ peer-reviewed papers, 14 chapters and 80+ opinion-editorials. She will be speaking at Successful Peer Support.

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Melanie Mendez-GonzalesMelanie Mendez-Gonzales is a blogger, speaker and online media entrepreneur. On her blog QueMeansWhat.com, Melanie shares stories and news on education, entertainment, culture and family. Over the last five years, she has built an online community addressing issues that are important to American Latino families. To open conversations about women’s issues, she has served on the TEDx San Antonio Women organizing committee for the last two years. She’s a wife, a mom of two boys and proud Tejana. Find her on social media as @mendezgonzales or @quemeanswhat. She will be speaking at Special General Session – Sweeping it Under the Rug: Breaking the Stigma of Maternal Mental Health in the Latino Community.


Samantha Meltzer-Brody

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference -postpartumprogress.comDr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH is a clinician and researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Faculty Development in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Pediatrics. She is the Director of the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, a comprehensive clinical and research program that includes the first Perinatal Inpatient Psychiatry Unit in the US. Dr. Meltzer-Brody is the recipient of multiple NIH-funded grants that investigate epidemiologic and genetic predictors of postpartum mood disorders. She is the founder and lead investigator on the Postpartum Depression: Action Towards Causes and Treatment (PACT) Consortium that developed and launched the PPD ACT app—a global initiative aimed at understanding why some women suffer from PPD and postpartum psychosis (PPP) and others do not—critical knowledge that will improve detection, prevention and treatment of these conditions. Postpartum Progress is a critical partner of the PPD ACT initiative.

Dr. Meltzer-Brody maintains an active clinical practice, has published over 80 manuscripts, currently participates in clinical trials research in women’s mood disorders, and serves as the mental health consultant for the North Carolina Women’s Health Report Card. She is a frequent contributor to the media including the New York Times, NPR, Huffington Post, and Time Magazine. In 2012, the Triangle Medical Journal selected Dr. Meltzer-Brody as one of the “Top-10 Woman in Medicine” and she was also selected as an inaugural Sanders Clinician Scholar at UNC to develop a novel program to address physician burn-out syndrome. Additionally, in March 2015, she was selected as a HealthCare Hero by the Triangle Business Journal for her work with physician burnout and maternal depression and was awarded the UNC School of Public Health Arnold D. Kaluzny Distinguished Alumni Award. She will be speaking at Health Disparities in Maternal Mental Health: What Can Be Done?

National Sponsor: Cotton Babies

Cotton Babies, National Sponsor for the 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference -postpartumprogress.comLast year, Cotton Babies welcomed the Warrior Moms of Postpartum Progress to Boston with an amazing video and a message we each needed to hear, “You are One Good Mom,” and we are thrilled to welcome them again in 2016 as our National Sponsor. The company is committed to advocating for the health and well-being of families everywhere and to supporting women in all phases of motherhood, including times when women need to seek outside help to get through their days.

We are so grateful to the team at Cotton Babies for recognizing the significance of how perinatal mood and anxiety disorders deeply affect women and children, and for publicly stating that they stand by and support Warrior Moms. We can’t wait to work with them again and we can’t wait for you to meet them at the Conference! Thank you Cotton Babies!

If you’re interested in attending the 2016 Warrior Mom® Conference, we have some very limited tickets left. You can register today to join us in October in Atlanta. We know you’ll benefit from these five keynote and general session speakers, our National Sponsor, and the other speakers we’ll be announcing in the weeks to come. We’re so excited to come together to celebrate, learn, and work hard to help mamas.