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Flora’s Walk comes to Lloydminster

Maternal Mental Health is the focus as Lloydminster residents are being invited to a talk on the topic and then a journey around Messum Park to remember Flora – a mother who lost her battle with depression.

May 3 is World Maternal Mental Health Day and the Lloydminster Maternal Mental Health Initiative is planning a morning chat at the Timber Cafe in Home Hardware to talk about things like spotting the signs of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

With the goal of ensuring the best outcomes for mother and baby, organizers note that postpartum psychosis affects about one-to-two in every 1000 moms. Also, maternal mental health is important for the development of strong children and healthy communities. Early identification and treatment options for postpartum illnesses are critical to the overall health and well being of mothers and their children.

Following the morning chat members of the group will walk to Messum Park to honour the journey of Canadian mom, Flora Babakhani who after many years of fertility treatments became pregnant at 44-years, but sadly succumbed to undiagnosed postpartum psychosis about two-months after having her daughter.

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Krista Holden who is on the planning team says when parents are healthy, then our children are healthy.

“Research shows that when mom and potentially sometimes dads will struggle as well – watching their partner struggle. If mom can’t take care of baby it’s really hard to build that emotional attachment depending on how severe her postpartum is.”

Holden points to the availability of family and community support saying,”It’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to struggle, but you don’t have to do it alone.”

Some of their partners include AHS, Midwest Family Connections and Population Health who will be making resources available at the event.

Holden shares further on the topics being addressed before the group which will include mothers and babies in strollers being the walk to take them around Messum Park.

“So, we have a mom that’s going to come and share her experience with postpartum depression – and what that was like for herself and her family. And talk about where she is today. We feel that it’s really important that we share stories. I think that it encourages other families to know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing and that there are supports available.”

The morning chat begins at the cafe at Home Hardware from 9:30 a.m. and the walk to Messum Park is expected to head out around 10:30 a.m. That aspect is a fundraiser which will go to support the work of maternal mental health in the community, say organizers.

More information can be found on the Midwest Family Connections and Lloydminster Maternal Mental Health social media pages.

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