One in nine women will some day experience postpartum depression, and one in four will experience a miscarriage in their lives.
It can be a hard conversation to have, but it’s important.
We first met Tabitha Grassmid two years ago when she opened up to us about her struggle with postpartum depression. Since then, she has made it her mission to help other mothers. She recently created the non profit Maternal Wellness Program. Its mission is to end the stigma of perinatal mood disorders through education, advocacy and support.
"Seeing moms get better is the biggest thing for me," Tabitha said. “I love watching moms heal, to start to help other moms through their journey.” Throughout her work, Tabitha has become more aware of the different needs of moms and just how many women have suffered a loss during or shortly after pregnancy.
"I think that there's so many times people say, 'I didn’t realize how many people out there that felt the way'. I just think it’s one of those things nobody talks about, but everyone wants to, once they're given that opportunity."
That's when Rachelle Sova found courage to help others. She is the mother of three living children and is leading the organization’s latest support group for miscarriage and infant loss.
"It takes a lot of courage to go to a group," she said. “I just feel like if you can make it there and you can talk about your baby, it gives meaning, purpose, other people can feel that love, and their name lives on, they live on. I just find a certain healing in that.”
Rachelle had two miscarriages and lost her son Wyatt just hours after he was born. "I almost feel like I can talk about Wyatt, because he was a living baby and people are more accepting. Not that people aren't accepting, but that's just how I feel. I think that's how society feels, so it’s kind of difficult. I feel like I can talk about Wyatt but I can`t talk about Faith and Easion. They have names; they were wanted and loved."
Rachelle says it took years to get this point, to really be able to talk about her journey, but by doing so she has found healing and, hopefully, a sense of hope for others. "I want people to walk away with knowing that these babies are loved and these moms and dads are not alone. So many people have gone through this and they loved their babies, given them names, they've had hopes and dreams for them and it’s okay to be sad."
The miscarriage and infant loss support group is every Wednesday at Grand Rapids Women's Health from 6 to 7:30 p.m. They also offer support groups for postpartum depression.
For more information and a full list of classes, click here.