When we nurture the mother, we nurture the whole family…
Pacific Post Partum Support Society has been supporting women and their families experiencing postpartum distress, depression and anxiety since 1971. Developed as a grass roots initiative, a small group of women began meeting at the Vancouver Crisis Line office to share their experiences and support each other around postpartum issues. This established the pattern for our treatment model: women supporting women. This was a new approach to addressing the issues of postpartum depression and one that has since influenced changes in postpartum support.
As a non-profit, charitable organization, Pacific Post Partum Support Society provides a variety of free or low-cost programs for women experiencing a difficult pregnancy or postpartum adjustment, including postpartum depression and anxiety (PPD/A). We offer a range of services, depending upon individual’s needs.
“I credit the PPPSS with saving my life, a bit of a dramatic claim, but true.”
Experienced postpartum counsellors offer telephone counselling, postpartum support information and referrals to women and their families, six days a week. Women may self-refer but many referrals also come from physicians and public health nurses. An initial intake call is a way for the client to connect with the counsellor and assess if our services are a fit for them. This might result in follow up support based on the client’s needs. Our Society handles approximately 3500 telephone calls annually. Our telephone support line for Metro Vancouver (Lower Mainland) is 604-255-7999. We are excited to be able to offer a new toll free line (1-855-255-7999) to women and families throughout BC. Our phone support hours are Monday- Friday 10am- 4 pm and Saturday, on call from 12am- 4pm.
Weekly Womens's Support Groups
We hold ongoing weekly women’s support groups across the Lower Mainland. Our support groups are led by trained facilitators and provide a safe place for women to connect with other women in a similar situation and receive valuable information and emotional support. The support groups are available during the day or in the evening, depending on the location. We offer free on-site childcare at our daytime groups. Our groups have a maximum capacity of eight women. Please contact us for more information regarding our group schedule and availability.
Current group locations: Eastside Vancouver, Westside Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Port Coquitlam, Cloverdale.
“During a phone call from PPPSS I began to feel that I could be myself without worrying that people might think I was crazy or weird. It was after that phone call that I started remembering that I could be myself.”
Support for Partners
Dads experience a huge adjustment during pregnancy and the postpartum transition as well and we provide services to Fathers and Partners to assist them in dealing with these adjustments. We offer telephone support as well as and Partner and Couple Information Sessions.
We have found that by supporting partners, the partner not only receives support for his/her postpartum adjustment, but that this also affects the mother’s recovery, as the partner’s understanding and support are paramount to her ability to get well.
For more information, call our telephone support line.
Community Based Mom & Baby Talks
Our Society is often invited by community based organizations like family places, community centres, public health units etc. to hold interactive ‘Mom and Baby’ talks and provide new families with an opportunity to discuss issues related to postpartum adjustment. These presentations allow new mothers to share with other women some of the challenges and surprises all new parents face during the postpartum period. Our counselors, public health nurses, and service providers have found that our interactive talks about postpartum emotions helps provide an effective tool in promoting prevention, early recognition and treatment of postpartum symptoms. Mothers learn self-care strategies to cope with and reduce stress and also where to seek help if needed. Our experienced facilitation staff often remains after the talk to provide more information to individual mothers. We get requests for approximately 100 community based Mother & Baby Talks on an annual basis, reaching approximately 1,400 new parents.
“The support group gave voice to dark feelings which I was too embarrassed and ashamed to articulate. It was the pivotal element that brought about my recovery.”
Workshops and Training
Over the past 40 years, we have developed training modules and workshops for those interacting with new mothers in the postpartum period. We offer trainings in group facilitation, telephone counselling as well as basic support skills for postpartum support. Trainings are also offered for volunteers interested in providing telephone support for our organization. In the last few years we have developed an innovative Multicultural Training Program, whereby we provide support skills and basic education about postpartum depression and anxiety to multicultural support workers who can then reach out and support women in their communities, in their own language.
Publications and Resource Materials
Over the past 40 years, our Society has developed its own publications on postpartum support.
- Postpartum Depression & Anxiety – A Self-Help Guide for Mothers
- Group Facilitator Manual
- Telephone Support Training Manual
For additional information and resources please click on Publications & Resources