Having a baby can be a time of pure, unadulterated joy. But for moms who experience post-partum depression, the post-birth period can mean overwhelming sadness, exhaustion, and, despair.
“After my second daughter was born I didn’t have a lot of support,” explains April, a recently single mother of two. “It was mostly me at home with the girls every day. I was really isolated, and the post-partum was bad.”
When a public health nurse visited April, she encouraged her to take her kids to the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre's food and family programs. April was interested, but having long suffered from social anxiety, she also felt nervous.
But the moment she stepped through the doors, her fears disappeared. At the Food and Families program, her little ones could try their hand at cooking while April got support to make nourishing meals at home. These days, the family is at the CFC several times a week, attending Food and Families, the Wednesday community lunch, and the occasional family dinner. The little girls are also hoping to get out into the big community garden this summer through a program known as the Sunshine Gang.
“I found my tribe,” April laughs. “For me, it’s a chance to get out of my head. I’ve made many new friends. And so have my girls.”
It makes a big difference to the family’s limited budget to have fewer meals to worry about cooking at home. April loves to see her daughters busily chopping and slicing using special kid-friendly plastic knives at mini tables.
“We are all comfortable there. When we walk in, people are so friendly. Finally, we feel part of a community.”