The city has created a postpartum education and support group pilot program in partnership with nonprofit Love Your Menses.
The program's intent is to "support and educate Boston residents, particularly Black and Brown women, who have recently given birth or are expecting to give birth soon, and create a safe space for people experiencing pregnancy and postpartum."
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement announced the 10-week, free and virtual program's launch on March 13. The program will have an initial cohort of 32 participants.
“Ensuring that we are supporting all of our City’s parents during their postpartum period is critical in our work to make Boston a city for everyone,” said Wu via press release. “I’m grateful to MOWA and Love Your Menses for this free program that will connect and support people experiencing pregnancy and postpartum across our neighborhoods.”
The program will consist of weekly virtual sessions including but not limited to peer-mentorship, consultations with OB/GYN providers, guest speakers, and more.
Sessions begin on April 5 and run through June. A virtual informational session for interested residents will be held on March 15 at 6 pm. The registration form is available in 11 languages, and registration will close on March 29. Interpretation and translation accommodation services during the program are available upon request. More information about the program is available at boston.gov/women.
“As a woman of color, Latina and first time mom, I understand the first hand struggle women face during childbirth,” said Alexandra Valdez, Executive Director of Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. “MOWA is committed to making resources accessible to all women in the city of Boston, especially those in communities that are underrepresented.”
The pilot’s sessions will be organized and run by nonprofit Love Your Menses, which was founded in 2019 in "...response to the growing menstrual wellness needs of girls, menstruating youths, and women." Its mission is "to dispel myths surrounding menstruation, promote menstrual equity, and build the next generation of leaders by providing an educational, uplifting, and supportive space for Black and Brown girls, women, and all people who menstruate to learn about the menstrual cycle and thrive throughout their reproductive years and beyond."
“We are excited for the collaboration to bring this important resource to our community,” said Asriel Walker, Executive Director at Love Your Menses. “We hope to continue to work with MOWA to put all parents FIRST during their postpartum period.”
New mothers of color are at higher risk of having postpartum depression yet are less likely to receive treatment, according to a press release. Research shows that social support has proven effective to help new mothers cope with psychological and physical stressors in the postpartum period.
The Healthy Start Systems Division at Boston Public Health Commission also includes programs for pregnant and parenting families, including free, voluntary, and confidential home visiting to pregnant and parenting families with children under age five who reside in Boston. To learn more about BPHC’s programs, please visit boston.gov/bphc-newbornhealth.