Sara Sladoje, a child development specialist, and Alison Kramme,
individual and couples therapist, co-lead small group sessions over
an eight-week period. Participants have access to both professional
expertise and the knowledge and support of other moms with similar
experiences. Kramme and Sladoje have experience with all the
changes new moms face in the weeks after giving birth.
"The major thing I've witnessed in my practice, with myself and
my girlfriends, is the emotional challenges of bringing baby home,"
Kramme says. "You expect there to be challenges and transitions to
new skills. But what I hear from moms is that they are surprised by
the emotional piece-whether that is baby blues or just feeling
anxious or feeling tearful and overwhelmed during this happy time.
They don't expect it and they don't know what to do."
Sladoje adds, "These feeling are all very normal and it is so
important to share it with someone-even if it is a pediatrician or
ob/gyn. We are so prepared for pregnancy, but afterwards, you are
set afloat on your own. Moms have these feelings but they don't
have great support during these times."
During GRASP Group sessions, the facilitators bring up "hot"
topics (including returning to work vs. staying home, changes to
your relationship as a couple and issues relating to baby's
development) and then open it up to the group for discussion.
"This group allows women to safely express how they feel and see
others nodding their heads in understanding. It validates their
experience," Kramme says.