The Afterglow Group Curriculum

The “Afterglow” is a postpartum support group for new moms with babies anywhere between the ages of 0-6 months. A 6-week series, this group deeply covers some of the most poignant topics that arise for women during the postpartum. Is this a postpartum depression support group? This group is especially for new moms who are struggling with perinatal mood concerns or struggling with the adjustment to motherhood.

Can I bring my baby to group? Absolutely! Group participants are invited to bring their little ones.

Do I have to attend all 6 weeks? While it is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged that participants sign up for the series. This is a way to immerse oneself in the experience and knowledge that will be provided during the group, but most importantly, a way to connect and bond with other group members.

Is this a therapy group? While we will cover a range of therapeutic topics and teach some therapeutic tools for self-care and stress management, this is not a therapy group.

Will my insurance reimburse me for this group? UCSF will not bill insurance for this group series.

Group Outline

Week 1: Introductions and birth stories: The birth of a baby and the birth of a mother.
Role Transitions & the 4th trimester.
Accompanied Reading: The Birth of a Mother by Alexandra Sacks www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/well/family/the-birth-of-a-mother.html

Week 2: Why does Motherhood Make Me Feel Blue?
An overview of postpartum mood/wellness. Education and information about the baby blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum anxiety.
Accompanied Reading: Channel B by Megan Stielstra. https://therumpus.net/2012/11/channel-b/
Accompanied Reading: Having Disturbing Thoughts as a New Parent? Here’s How to Cope by Juli Fraga and Karen Kleiman. www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/parenting/intrusive-thoughts-scary-images-child-dying.html

Week 3: How to Keep Maternal Guilt from Sabotaging Self-Care 
Self-Care, relaxation skills and stress management.
Accompanied Reading: Mothers Don’t Have to be Martyrs by Pooja Lakshmin https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/parenting/mothers-not-martyrs.html
Accompanied Reading: Saying No is Self-Care for Parents by Pooja Lakshmin https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/parenting/burnout-boundaries.html

Week 4: The New Nest: From Partners to Parents
Communication with Partners/Family members: Creative ways to find time for couple/partner connection.
Accompanied Reading: The Secret to a Happy Marriage is Knowing How to Fight by Daphne de Marneffe https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/12/opinion/sunday/engagement-marriage-conflict.html

Week 5: What is a “Good Enough Mother?”
How our childhood experiences shape the parents we become: An overview of attachment theory.
Accompanied Reading: How Parents Are Made by Juli Fraga https://aeon.co/essays/learn-your-own-attachment-style-to-become-a-better-parent

Week 6: Choosing a Childcare Provider
When it comes to childcare, many options are available. We’ll review the basics and discuss how to emotionally prepare for the “return to work.”
Accompanied reading: Return to Work Post-Covid: Tips for Parents www.inceptive.co/articles/return-to-work-and-childcare

Online Resources

Books

Becoming the Parent You Want To Be, Laura Davis & Janis Keyser

The Birth of a Mother: How the Motherhood Experience Changes You Forever, Daniel Stern, MD

Mindful Birthing, Nancy Bardacke, CNM Mothering Without a Map, Kathryn Black

Parenting from the Inside Out, Daniel Siegel, MD & Mary Hartzell, MEd

Register by phone or online:
UCSF Great Expectations Pregnancy Program
(415) 514-2670