For over 20 years, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has offered a support group for new moms called Mom and Baby. Laurie Kanyer started the group back in the early 90’s when she was raising her children. The format for the group has stood the test of time. Moms with babies up to a year old can attend. It’s an opportunity for them to get out of the house, to interact with other new moms and to get much needed support.
Many moms who suffer from postpartum depression have expressed how important this group is to them. Another benefit of the group is the connection these families make to each other. Once the babies turn a year old, some of the moms continue to meet on a regular basis.
The current instructor is Diane Corn. She started attending the Mom and Baby group when her now 19 year old was a baby. She formed the same connection with the moms in her group and as those kids left for college this past fall, the moms convened and supported each other through this next transition in life– saying goodbye to their college bound kids.
Groups of “graduates” are still gathering. An example of this is a group that formed a tight bond in 2009. They recently gathered at Red Robin with all their babies. This past December they came together with their children, who now are three years old, for a Christmas cookie decorating project at a local cake decorator shop.
The support group has weathered growing pains over the years. The group has a smaller number in attendance compared to 20 years ago. Many of the moms are returning to work. The downturn of the economy along with the higher cost of living doesn’t always allow moms to be able to stay at home. Some moms will come to the group during their maternity leave but usually around the third month when they return to their jobs. Another change is that some of our moms are raising their babies without a partner.
There’s no shortage of resources in our area for new moms. Locally we have seen other groups offered such as MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Moms Club of Yakima. The Mom and Baby group meets every Monday from 10 a.m. to noon at Memorial’s Education Center located in the Nob Hill Plaza. No registration is needed and there is no charge to attend.