This week we are doing a little spotlight on Alicia Glascock and Meradith Fraser. Together they founded The Mother’s Nest, a non-profit organization aimed at helping mothers suffering from postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. Alicia is a mom of three daughters and she works as a nurse in the ER. Meradith is a birth, postpartum, and bereavement doula with five kids of her own. They were introduced by mutual friends to start a peer-to-peer postpartum support group two years ago. During this time together they realized they both had similar dreams on postpartum care.
How was the idea of The Mother’s Nest born?
The thought of The Mothers’ Nest came from aspects of things they both needed during their postpartum period that was not available. There was no safe place to go to. Therapy and support were very hard to find. They decided they needed to create a place they were so desperate for. Once The Mothers’ Nest is fully up and running it will be a safe place for comprehensive postpartum care. It will include trained therapists, support groups, education, self-care options, and on-site childcare. The goal is to have one place moms and families can go to and get the support they need.
What do you hope to accomplish with TMN?
We hope that The Mothers’ Nest will show moms and families that there is help out there. One in 7 moms will get a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. It is so common, and yet it feels so isolating. We want to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially when it relates to the role of motherhood. We want the world to know that this is something worth talking about.
So many want to help mothers who are suffering from a perinatal mood disorder but may not know how. What would you say to them?
If you know a mother, ask how they are doing, not just how long the baby is sleeping. Listen to the answer. If you know someone who is struggling with a maternal mental health issue, listen to them. Encourage them to get help. Talk to their provider or primary care doctor. Get into therapy. Let them know that it is not something to be ashamed about. It does not decrease your worth or value as a person or a mother. Resist the urge to dismiss their fears and concerns. Bring them food, call them to remind them to eat, let them know that they are loved. Offer to hold the baby so they can take a shower, nap, or just leave the house for a moment. Most importantly, let them know that it gets better.
What you are doing is beautiful and so important. How can people get more involved?
A message from the UDA:
October is national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. Our blogs this month will feature some touching and potentially triggering subjects. It is our hope to bring some hope and light to mothers and families who have lost their babies far too soon. This is a subject that is often shied away from out of fear and discomfort by those who may feel they have no words to console the hurt. Sometimes just your presence can be the most comforting. If you know someone who has suffered a loss, be there for them. Hold their hand, cry with them, hold space for them. Words are not always necessary to help a broken heart.