Volunteer Spotlight – Jennifer, Yasmeen & Emma
It only feels appropriate to recognize our three amazing warm line volunteers, Jennifer, Yasmeen and Emma. We are forever grateful for the important work they do!
In addition to leading two support groups, Jennifer staffs the warm line for a full 48 hours every week! We are extremely grateful to have Jenn as a part of our volunteer network. Our callers have been so well supported by Jennifer.
About Jennifer: I have an amazing son that makes me happy everyday, but the start of my parenting journey proved difficult for me because I suffered from postpartum depression. As a volunteer and a mom, I love passing on the support and encouragement that was so crucial during my recovery. I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
Most memorable volunteer experience: I received a call from a mom on behalf of her daughter who has a history of depression. She was having a hard time finding an antidepressant that would work for her daughter who was experiencing severe postpartum depression and needed help with medication that was also safe while breastfeeding. I was able to share with her that I went through a trial and error period until I found the proper medication that worked for me. She was encouraged knowing that her daughter would get through it with support. She was able to make an appointment with a psychiatrist for counseling and medication management. It is so hard to reach out for help when you are feeling this way, and I am glad so many moms have this outlet and support from the warm line volunteers.
About Yasmeen (also featured in the April newsletter!): The birth of my first child was the most incredible event of my life. It was also the most stressful. After my traumatic labor, I felt physically and emotionally broken. For months, I was unaware that what I was experiencing was postpartum PTSD, and postpartum anxiety. Therapy and peer support helped me find myself again, and identify a way forward.
I’m now a mom of two, and a 3rd-year graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializing in maternal mental health. Supporting women through the seismic changes associated with fertility, loss, birthing and parenting has become my professional and personal passion. Transitioning to parenthood is an all-encompassing journey; parents deserve the loving kindness and resources required to thrive. I try to create a warm and caring environment in the weekly PSVa support groups I co-facilitate, and when answering the warm line. Sometimes, when we’re struggling, we just need to know that we’re not alone, and that our feelings are important.
Postpartum Support Virginia provides remarkable services to families across Virginia and beyond. I am grateful to learn from such a passionate and dedicated group of people, and play a small role in supporting their life-changing work.
Yasmeen leads our Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies support group for women of color and also staff our warm line one day a week.
About Emma: Emma staffs our warm line one day a week, runs a support group for PSVa, as well as a support group for Postpartum Support International focusing on healing from Postpartum Psychosis.
As a warm line volunteer, some of the most impactful calls I have answered are calls from mothers who are struggling with the same issues I struggled with. I once spoke with a Grandmother who was seeking resources for her daughter who was struggling with Postpartum Psychosis. That call was really hard, and also really wonderful. I called my own mother to thank her for her support during my healing journey.