WellMama: A Safe Place to Say “I’m Not Okay”
February 5, 2020
WellMama is a nonprofit organization that provides pregnancy and postpartum support for women and their families in Eugene and Springfield. These services include: support for families who are struggling with emotions related to reproductive health issues, the first few years of postpartum, adoption, infertility and perinatal loss.
Women’s Care proudly partners with Well Mama because this nonprofit offers confidential, nonjudgmental support to women and their families. There are multiple resources women can take advantage, such as group support services, online and phone communication, education, consultation and more.
Here’s a snapshot highlighting how Well Mama is helping women in this community.
Sara Mason gave birth to her son, Wyatt, on June 15, 2018. This was the start of one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. But it’s been challenging, too, she said.
Before her baby came into the world, Mason was a staffing manager at an employment services agency. This job allowed her to be social, even though the schedule was demanding. The soon-to-be mother realized that she was working way too many hours and that the expectations of the job would be too stressful to maintain after having a baby.
Once Wyatt was born, Mason started to have some nursing problems and wasn’t leaving her house. She began to contemplate whether she would be able to return to work. As these questions swam in her head, she began to feel isolated.
“I realized that I was so tired that I could sleep on and off all day,” she said. “I wasn’t necessarily depressed, but I was struggling to find any normalcy in my life. I had no routine and everything felt sort of upside down. Being responsible for a tiny human that screams all the time in itself is hard.”
After consulting with her doctors and her child’s healthcare providers, Mason said she knew she had to “do something” to get out of the house and create some sense of normalcy for herself and her son.
At a check-up appointment for Wyatt, Mason saw a flyer for WellMama Maternal Mental Health and Support Services. In a confidential, nonjudgmental environment, WellMama volunteers provide support and education to women and their families in groups, online and over the phone. The postpartum support services caught her eye.
“I just decided to be brave and take my baby and go,” she said. “That’s how it started. I remember forcing myself to go every week. It’s just like everything else. I don’t have the same thoughts as everyone there, but I forced myself to go even when it wasn’t my cup of tea. It was good for the baby and good for me to have an outing scheduled every week.”
Mason said that more than anything, WellMama helped her to feel supported and stable and understand that it’s okay to feel sad or overwhelmed by motherhood.
“You can be happy and be a mom and it’s also okay to be sad and not always be in love with being a mother,” she said. “Not every mom is happy at every second. WellMama provides a safe place to confide in other moms about the trials and tribulations of being a mom, and a safe place to say ‘I’m not okay.’”
Mason, who now volunteers at WellMama as a support group leader, said that the organization is open to anyone who needs support, regardless of their mental state. Mothers don’t have to be struggling postpartum to participate. WellMama aims to provide support and resources for anyone who believes they could benefit from them. She said the group support sessions provide space for sharing tips, advice and for building a community of people who may be facing similar situations.
“I urge parents to put themselves out there and join things,” Mason said. “You can kind of step back and evaluate what you want motherhood and raising your child to look like with the support of others who are going through some of the same things.”
Women’s Care is a proud sponsor of WellMama. To learn more about WellMama, visit WellMamaOregon.com or follow @WellMamaOregon on Facebook and Instagram. For more pregnancy and women’s health resources, visit our Resources page.