It's time to clear the path.
Just because a family doesn't have finances, doesn't make their experience any less important. They should have access to doula care, chiropractors, home births, therapy, lactation help, etc. Please help us help her.
Help us clear the path. Donate here today.
This is Jenn Barry's story:
When I had my daughter in 2011, I was left feeling empty and sad. I felt like a completely different person. I cried more than my newborn in the first 6 weeks. When I filled out the Edinburgh scale form which is supposed to determine if you are suffering from a perinatal mood disorder, I checked all of the boxes. Yes, I blame myself for everything. Yes, I cry all of the time. No, I don't look forward to anything. The only answer I lied about was wanting to harm myself. I was afraid. I was afraid if I said how I truly felt, they would take my baby away.
I didn't know what I was experiencing was postnatal depression. I didn't know that 15% of women experience a perinatal mood disorder. I didn't know there was help. Fortunately, for me, I leaned on my family and the outcome was good. For 1 in 7 women, this depression or anxiety can lead to suicide.
Since then, I have become a Certified Childbirth Educator, Doula, Lactation Counselor, and a Placenta Specialist. Throughout my time supporting families, I have found that the story I've told above rings true more than it should. Many families do not know where or how to get help. Then there are many times when I know a woman is having difficulty but cannot afford to pay for services to get help. These aren't families that are struggling to put food on the table but they just don't have anything extra at the end of the day. In many cases, the mother to be or new mother does not feel right with using the family's budget to get something to make her life easier, so she opts out.
Time and time again, I kept hearing 'I was alone'. The recurrence of this feeling was overwhelming for me. She was alone. She needed someone to talk to. She was alone. She didn't know who to call for help. She was alone. They took her baby to NICU. She was alone. The baby wouldn't stop screaming. She was alone. The baby wouldn't latch. She was alone. She cried out in pain.
She was alone.
This prompted the start of Birth and Beyond Resources. First, I started by creating a FaceBook support group and listed hundreds of resources for families to turn to on Long Island. This helped but it wasn't enough. I knew there were financial restrictions that were preventing families from getting the support they needed. I knew this from talking to my students during their pregnancy and about their birth experience as well as during the early postpartum weeks. I knew this from having discussions with women struggling with their breastfeeding relationship who offered to barter services because they didn't have any money to pay for a counsel session. I knew this from my personal experiences from my three births. From then, the need to start this organization burned bright in my heart.
And here we are! With lots of help and dedication from family and friends, we have launched our organization but we cannot start to help families until we raise the funds to do so. That is how you can help. You can help by donating any amount to the Help Her Project. You can start to help her by sharing if you are not able to donate.
It's time to clear the path for families. It's time to help her.