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COVID19 Brings New Mental Health Challenges for New Moms. Healthy Horizons Launches Virtual Support Groups for Socially Distant Advice and Support.
For 30 years, Healthy Horizons has been providing support groups for breastfeeding moms. When the pandemic hit, Healthy Horizons quickly transitioned their in-person support groups to a virtual format. “We knew that moms would need even more support during the pandemic crises,” said Healthy Horizons Founder and CEO Sheila Janakos. “We had to meet that need.”
Janakos, an IBCLC with a Masters in Public Health, says that it’s extremely important for new moms to take care of their mental health. “There are tremendous demands on her body, her emotions, and her mind,” says Janakos. “Covid multiplied all that exponentially. Knowing she’s not alone can make a big difference in her wellbeing.”
In a Healthy Horizons support group, new moms get support and advice from peers and a professional facilitator on everything from marriage, to going back to work, to postpartum health, to infant care, to the best breast pumps and baby carriers.
“In one support group I facilitated, we had a great conversation about baby poop and all the different colors that are normal and how we never thought this would be our daily dinner time conversation with our partners...then we all broke out into laughter,” said Janakos. “Laughing together is really important to cope with stress.”
"Laughing together is really important to cope with the stress."
Individuals can join a support group through Healthy Horizons’ website. Their groups are transgender friendly and inclusive.
Healthy Horizons also facilitates support groups for employers. Their business clients include the likes of PayPal, Ford and other Fortune 100 companies, and businesses of all sizes who want to build an inclusive and supportive workplace for women.
“The employers we work with are invested in supporting their employees and their employees‘ families during these difficult times,” said Janakos. “It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.”
Healthy Horizons celebrates their 30th anniversary this year. The company is led by the mother/daughter team of Sheila and Cassi Janakos.