Free JFS Los Angeles Program Helps New Mothers Beat the 'Baby Blues' and Postpartum Depression

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Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) has introduced "New Moms Connect", a program to help new mothers struggling with postpartum depression or its milder variant "baby blues." JFS/New Moms Connect is a free, volunteer-based program that provides support services to moms and their extended families in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

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Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) has introduced "New Moms Connect", a program to help new mothers struggling with postpartum depression or its milder variant "baby blues." JFS/New Moms Connect is a free, volunteer-based program that provides support services to moms and their extended families in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

50% or more of new mothers experience the "baby blues," which can last up to three weeks. Postpartum depression (PPD), a disorder which lasts longer and is characterized by sadness, anxiety, isolation, and an inability to cope with the new infant, affects 10-20% of new mothers. Early intervention, education and support are the keys to preventing these conditions from making parenting and family life difficult, confusing and painful. JFS/New Moms Connect provides a safe place for mothers, fathers and other family members to talk about these confusing feelings and get help.

Through telephone contact and home visits, trained volunteers can refer clients to a variety of resources, including support groups, counseling, and, when necessary, medical or psychiatric evaluations. In addition, the volunteers can help new mothers develop a family support system or arrange for extra in-home help.

The JFS/New Moms Connect volunteers bring impressive, relevant professional and life experience to their work with mothers and their families. In addition to a group of experienced paraprofessional volunteers, the staff includes a lactation specialist, a doula (postpartum aide,) a dentist, and a nurse. All the volunteers were trained in postpartum disorders and clinical intervention skills by Vivien Burt, M.D., the founder of the Women's Life Center at UCLA and a postpartum and women's health specialist.

Tamar Springer, a licensed psychotherapist, supervises all program volunteers. She is an educator with 15 years of experience in all areas of marriage, family, and parenting, with a special emphasis in postpartum depression.

JFS/New Moms Connect is funded in part by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation. For help or more information, call the warmline at (323) 761-8800 x 1028 or visit http://www.jfs-newmomsconnect.org .

About Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles:
For more than 152 years Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) has provided the highest quality social services to individuals and families in need, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or ability to pay. Vital programs of JFS counsel families in crisis, support the elderly, house the homeless, feed the hungry, assist people with disabilities and work with victims of violence. JFS is the first call for families in need. For more information visit http://www.jfsla.org.

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Robert Sax
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