Do you have a group of friends who helped you get through that difficult first year — or 10 — of parenting?
Researchers at the University of Waterloo recently conducted a study, interviewing members of momstown from across Canada, to determine the changing support systems and the role “moms groups” play in helping new mothers and growing families adjust to their new lifestyle. They found that momstown friendships lowered the instance and severity of post-partum depression.
“The findings from this study are significant,” says researcher Diana Parry, PhD. “They demonstrate how powerfully mothers are in need of each other's company yet also how isolated mothers are from one another in today's rapidly changing Canadian culture. These findings underline the need to both explore the reasons why Canadian women are experiencing motherhood as overwhelming and isolating and also investigate how online social networking sites like momstown can help.”
Researchers Diana Parry, PhD, Caitlin Mulcahy and Troy Glover, PhD were taken aback by their findings, especially the sense of isolation and the need for connecting experienced by the mothers in the study. In fact, they found that over 13% of respondents were experiencing post partum depression. Celebrities are also talking about this mental health issue, says Today's Parent magazine.
“Mom groups do make a difference, for both social and emotional well-being” says Ann-Marie Burton, Founder of momstown.ca. “Our momstown members rely on each other for support and friendship.”
Summaries of two of their findings are below:
Mental health support: It’s no secret that more than 80 percent of moms experience the “baby blues”, and about 20 percent develop postpartum depression (PPD).
Support for second- and third-time moms: There’s an expectation in our society that second- and third-time moms should be prepared and ready for every baby after their first.
To interview Ann-Marie Burton or Diana Parry to learn more about the critical importance of momstown groups, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
momstown originally published this article in January 2014