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Free Perinatal Family Support Group

As the Central New York leader in deliveries, with more than 4,500 births annually, Crouse Hospital’s Kienzle Family Maternity Center, in partnership with its Spirit of Women program, has launched a no-cost outlet for ongoing support and awareness-raising activities that will help parents of new babies, as well as those dealing with perinatal depression. The stigma and judgment accompanying a diagnosis of perinatal depression makes it an under-reported illness and, consequently, under-treated.

The groups are Shifting the Family Mobile and Perinatal Family Support, and are led by Nurse Practitioner Christine Kowaleski, associate professor in the Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital who’s certified in family, neonatal and psychiatric care. She also serves as the Regional Coordinator for Postpartum Support International. For more information and to register for either group call 315/470-7940.


Family Mobile Group newsShifting the Family Mobile Group is open to any parent with a new baby, whether it’s your first, second or last. Moms, dads and babies are welcome, regardless of where your baby was delivered. The group meets every Friday 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CNY HealingArts, located at 195 Intrepid Lane in Syracuse.

Meeting Times

First Monday of each month 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
Group discussions will focus on the unexpected changes your new baby brings to your family’s lives, including:

  • How to handle the everyday challenges – what helps and what doesn’t
  • How anxiety affects milk production
  • No guilt like a mother’s guilt
  • Baby blues vs. postpartum depression
  • How parents’ mental health affects the new baby

Shifting the Family Mobile Group Program Flyer

Perinatal Support Group newsPerinatal Family Support Group is designed for any and all pregnant women and new mothers, no matter where they gave birth who are experiencing depression related to pregnancy and/or motherhood. Significant others, infants and children also can attend the group. Advance registration is required by calling 315/470-7940.

Depression and anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth is very common: 80% of women have the baby blues and 20% experience Postpartum Depression (PPD). We now know that of the women who experience PPD, about 50% had symptoms during their pregnancy. Crouse Hospital wants to support families during this often challenging period of adjustment. The good news is that women GET BETTER WITH HELP.

Symptoms of perinatal depression and anxiety include:

  • Constant worry, anxiety, insomnia
  • Crying more often than usual or for no reason
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness
  • Loss of interest, or joy in things you used to enjoy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling that something bad is going to happen
  • Inability to sit still
  • Doubting ability to care for baby or other children
  • Thoughts of harming self or baby
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty or overwhelmed
  • Difficulty concentrating, bonding issues with baby
  • Irritability, restlessness, moodiness, anger, rage

Perinatal Family Support Group Program Flyer