They Always Uplift People

"Everyone was there to listen. It reminded me I am not alone. " Matteha, participant in the Stork Secrets Pregnancy and Postpartum Adjustment Peer Support group.

They Always Uplift People

"I have waited years to have a baby, and I am not enjoying this," Matteha thought when her daughter was a few weeks old. She knew from the Our Place Stork Secrets group that if "baby blues" last more than a few weeks, it's time to get help. After talking to her doctor, Matteha got back on her depression medication. She decided not to continue breastfeeding to protect the baby. "I felt like a failure."

When she got pregnant in early 2021, Matteha knew she needed support to prepare for the birth of her child. However, Matteha and her fiancé were new to the Waterloo Region, and their families lived hours away. "I thought joining Our Place would help me get to know people," says Matteha.

Matteha had experienced depression and anxiety for many years and she wanted to be ready to embrace her new role as a mom. She needed extra support because her fiancé is a long-haul trucker who is away 12 days at a time. “It’s tough being here alone.”

Matteha looked forward to weekly meetings of the three Our Place online groups she joined, including the Stork Secrets group. “It was nice to have people around.”

“If I talked about something I was going through, there were usually other moms who been through it.” Matteha appreciated getting advice and perspective from other moms and the facilitators.

"Everyone was there to listen. It reminded me I am not alone. " Matteha also shared good news with the group. “I messaged the facilitators when I found out the gender of my baby. They were super duper excited for me.”

When Matteha felt guilty about stopping breastfeeding, other moms in the Stork Secrets group reminded her, "A fed baby is best." They reassured her that moms need to look after their mental health to be there for their babies. "I belong to some moms' groups on Facebook and sometimes there is 'mom-shaming'. I have never once felt mom-shamed by any of the Our Place facilitators or participants," says Matteha.

Now that her daughter is here, Matteha finds it hard to attend to three groups. "I try to sleep when the baby sleeps." But she knows she can pop onto the weekly Zoom call for even a few minutes to reconnect. "There is no pressure to stay the whole time."

Matteha says she would recommend Our Place to new parents "150%!" She especially appreciates the facilitators. "They are here for you. I know I can email at any time and they will respond. They always uplift people!"