Swedish just opened a brand new center that will help pregnant and postpartum women with mood and anxiety disorders. The program is a first of its kind on the west coast as it is focused entirely on mom and baby. The Swedish Center for Perinatal Bonding and Support is designed for women who need care beyond outpatient services, but do not meet inpatient requirements.

“This is exactly in between psychiatric care which is therapy or you see your psychiatrist once a week and inpatient treatment where you are basically there for a week or two where you don’t leave and you get pretty intensive services,” Vernonika Zantop with Swedish said.

The program lasts up to three weeks and it allows the moms to go home to their families each day after a six hour session. The Center for Perinatal Support offers group, individual, and family psychotherapy, as well as medication evaluation and management for pregnant, postpartum, and breast-feeding moms, among other things.

Tia Kennedy has a one year old daughter Magnolia and since Magnolia’s birth Tia has battled postpartum. She recently completed the three week program and she says it changed her life.

“With having postpartum depression it’s really challenging you feel isolated and sort of anti-social, and to come into the day program and be around others and to work with the therapists just makes such a huge difference in repairing my relationship with my baby,” Kennedy said. “With having postpartum depression you kind of aren’t there in the way that you normally would be and throughout the day they teach you skills on how to think different and challenge your thoughts.”

Swedish understands that there are many women in Western Washington who may be battling this depression and they want you to understand that this is really common.

“It’s not something that’s talked about a lot but it’s very common so even at Swedish alone they have about 10,000 deliveries every year and of that 10,000, up to 20% of those women will have some sort of anxiety or mood symptoms that really impair their ability to function,” Zantop said. “It’s really hard to get help and it’s hard to acknowledge what’s going on so what we want to do is tell women that this is a common thing that happens, there’s support and it’s very very treatable, women get better very quickly.”

Kennedy knows she is grateful that she took the time to go through the program.

“I really believed that it saved my life,” she said with a smile.

For more information on the program you can call 206-320-7288 to schedule a visit, or you can find more information here: http://www.swedish.org/locations/center-for-perinatal-bonding-and-support