I became a mother for the first time in January of 1999. I often call the months that followed the most wonderful awful time of my life. It was emotionally and physically overwhelming. The love I felt for my baby and family was unsurpassed equal were the feelings of sadness and isolation...so much more than I had imagined. I struggled to breastfeed to the point that my nipples actually bled. Everything was so hard….breastfeeding, lack of sleep, communication and connecting with my husband, saying goodbye to life as I knew it…...I cried and my baby cried all.the.time. I remember sitting with him day after day hour after hour rocking in the chair thinking that SOMEONE has got to tell people how hard this can be and then help them!
Eleven years later About Families was formed. My name is Joanna Boles Whitlow and I am the proud founder and director of this important organization.
About Families believes that it takes a village to raise a child. We want to be the hub of that village. Our programs offer education and support for parenting.
Our most popular programs include:
A free drop-in breastfeeding clinic staffed by a breastfeeding professional. Did you know that when women are admitted into the hospital to have a baby they are asked whether they plan to breastfeed and that 88% of women say yes. Six weeks later at their follow up appointment with their doctor or midwife woman are asked whether they are exclusively breastfeeding…...33% of women answer yes. That’s how hard breastfeeding can be in the beginning and why education and support in the beginning weeks are so important.
Another program is our Mama Support Network - bringing moms together in the early months to share the highs, and lows of parenting and establishing friendships and community. Statistically 8 out of 10 women will suffer from some form of postpartum mood disorder from the baby blues to depression, anxiety or more. Postpartum Support International claims that the number one cure for most of these woman is peer to peer support groups and what we are modeling this program after
About Families programs nurture, educate, and support parents from pregnancy through the first 5 years. We create healthier families physically and emotionally which in turn strengthens our community.