*This post is sponsored by RWJ Barnabas Health and NJMOM. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
I recently had the pleasure of touring the Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder Center at Monmouth Medical Center. I was accompanied by NJMOM to learn what the center offers for new and expecting mothers. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are a group of symptoms that can affect women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Postpartum depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, and psychosis all fall under the PMAD umbrella. Approximately 1 in 7 moms are affected by a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, with symptoms that range from mild to severe.
Visiting the center was such a bittersweet experience for me. Since my postpartum depression diagnosis, I’ve spent a good amount of time advocating and learning as much as I can about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I have the pleasure of personally knowing the director of the center, and couldn’t wait to visit in person!
The center is the only PMAD specific facility in the state of NJ. They offer mothers a wide range of treatment and support from trained professionals. The center is mom & baby friendly, so mothers can receive help without the stress of finding childcare.
- Free mother-to-mother weekly support group
- Individual counseling
- Couples counseling
- Group therapy
- Mother-infant bonding classes/sessions
- Pregnancy group sessions
- Therapy for Dads
- Medication management and evaluation
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Referrals to supportive services
- Art Therapy
The center’s director, Lise Tremayne, took us through the space explaining that not long ago they started the facility in a single room. The center has now grown to include office space, three therapist offices (fully equipped for mom & baby), and two group rooms. One of the group rooms is used for art therapy, which has become a family affair at the center. Couples have the chance to enter art therapy together, or separately if they choose.
Walking into Monmouth Medical I was brought back to those early days as a new mother; with the overwhelming uncertainty of life that consumed me while fighting postpartum depression. But the center is a place of hope. A space that is centered around maternal wellness, and puts the emphasis back on maternal care. As a new mother I felt lost in my experience, as life centered around my newborn. Finding the care I needed was challenging and finding a provider with PMAD training was impossible. All providers connected with the center have been certified through Postpartum Support International.
I had the opportunity to sit in on the center’s free weekly support group, and chat with the group of women about my experience. Not only did they ask me questions, but I had the chance to share what has worked during my recovery process. They willingly shared their experiences with me, and it quickly turned into an hour of women helping each other. The center is not only building a place for women to seek help, but a safe place for mothers to find community.
If you would like to learn more about the center please visit RWJ Barnabas Health for more information.