Mental Health Education and Support Help Mother Through Postpartum Depression
Glenda was in the third trimester of her first pregnancy when she saw a flyer for NVFS’ Healthy Families program at the Casey Clinic. “I was anxious at the moment because I was like, ‘What am I going to do with a newborn?'” Glenda recalls. “My husband and I — we didn’t know anything about babies, especially holding a newborn. That was one of the scariest things for me. And also bathing a baby — just to think about how I was going to do that.” Glenda met with a family support worker, who worked with Glenda to think through her childhood to help her prepare for motherhood. Glenda went into labor soon after, and following the birth of her daughter, began experiencing post-partum depression. “My family support worker helped me to understand what depression was and that I shouldn’t feel ashamed about it,” she shares. “She educated me on mental health — that it exists.” “If Northern Virginia Family Service didn’t exist, I don’t know if I would be here,” she adds, “because I attempted with my life when I was very depressed.” Glenda graduated from the program in 2006, and knew she wanted to stay involved to help give back to others. She joined NVFS’ Healthy Families program as a family resource specialist in 2007 and works with families to help break the cycle of child abuse.