April 1, 2019

From Angie Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Baby Blues Connection

Imagine you are a new parent but instead of joy you feel like you’ve made a mistake and think becoming a parent was a horrible idea.

Imagine you are a new mom, new to Portland also, and you have no friends with children so you are isolated and spend a lot of time alone.

Imagine you are a new dad but you hardly recognize yourself because you feel angry all the time.

The above scenarios are all very common and at Baby Blues Connection, we help parents who are feeling alone, isolated, beside themselves, angry, sad, or depressed. Most of the parents we support are struggling with peripartum mood and anxiety disorders or are experiencing a difficult transition into parenthood. From all walks of life, parents come to us when they need support from someone who understands.

Our Mission at Baby Blues Connection is to provide free support, information, and resources to women and families coping with pregnancy and postpartum depression, and to further support and educate the professionals who serve them. Our goal is to support all families through the early years of new parenting.

Over 15% of pregnant and postpartum women will experience some form of depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, or hopelessness. If symptoms are present in the mother, the partner has a 50% chance of experiencing symptoms. Left unchecked, depression and anxiety in either parent can affect the parent-to-child bond, potentially causing developmental issues.

Types of Support

The only non-profit of its kind in the Portland metro area, we provide the following support services to parents, regardless of a diagnosis.  Through email, phone, online, and in person groups for mothers and fathers, one only need to reach out and we’ll be there.

  • Phone support: Leave a message on our warm line and a volunteer will call you back within 24 hours. A kind, caring ear will listen and provide support, resources.
  • Group support: facilitated peer-to-peer groups are available both online and in person. Your feelings will be validated by parents who are there to listen. You are not alone.
  • Email support: receive support as you need it, when you need it. Connect with someone who had a similar experience, who truly understands.

We also provide free educational and informational talks to providers, healthcare workers and other groups upon request. Need a resource? We also maintain a list of mental health clinicians and prescribers. Find more information about this on our webpage: babybluesconnection.org.

Safe Space

On average, we support around 125-130 parents each month and while our stories and lives might differ, there is one common thread: we are all talking about it. It can be very difficult to speak up and say that that your struggling. Our groups in particular are a very safe space to say whatever is on your mind. Feeling like running away? We understand that. Having scary, reoccurring and abhorrent thoughts? We get that too. Just mildly irritated and depressed? We can relate. Our facilitators provide a safe space to talk about all of the darker aspects of moods and parenthood.

Sometimes parents need to work up to joining a group full of strangers who are all talking about their rawest emotions. Email and phone support provide excellent opportunities for one-on-one but very real communication.

Trust us when we say, we truly understand. Whatever you are experiencing, whatever you need to say, we will listen and then provide you support and resources, if you need them. Give us a call, find us on Facebook or visit our webpage. You don’t have to struggle alone. We’re here for you.