Our Mother and Baby Partial Hospitalization Program celebrated five years in December 2017 and has now served nearly 1,000 pregnant or postpartum moms who were experiencing depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, trauma, and a variety of other mental health symptoms. The short-term, intensive day program allows women to bring their infant along to daily treatment.
Our treatment team includes psychiatrists, nurses, case managers, activity therapists, discharge planners, and nursery attendants.
We asked new Mother & Baby Program case managers Mary Zuidema, LMSW, and Naomi Savoie-Miller, LMSW, to tell us a bit more about themselves and the program they love.
Who is appropriate for the Mother & Baby Program?
Any woman pregnant and up to 3 years postpartum who is having significant difficulty functioning in her home, work or relationships. The program is an intensive day program, so it is for patients who need more support than therapy once a week. But the women must be able to be safe in the evenings when not in the hospital. Patients typically come Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for one to two weeks. This is determined on an individual basis.
What is a typical treatment day like in the Mother & Baby Program?
Our morning starts with treatment planning group; we talk about how the evening went and how she is feeling today. During group therapy, the women have an opportunity to openly process whatever is on their heart. After lunch, the women attend activity therapy and classes with topics such as communication, coping skills, time management and self-care.
What feedback do you hear from the women you work with?
Our moms tell us that they felt heard and understood. They say that they feel more confident in their roles as mothers. Some say that their lives were changed forever. Some even say they feel their lives were saved by the program.
What would you like healthcare partners to know about the Mother & Baby Program?
Please don’t be afraid to screen moms and offer resources!
We can provide outpatient provider lists and decision trees for referrals. The evaluation process for the Mother & Baby Program is streamlined to make things easy for everyone involved. You can dramatically improve the lives of everyone in her family by helping a mom get the support she needs and deserves. You just might save a life.
Babies are welcome through 8 months. We have a nursery attendant to help with care and babies are welcome in our groups and classes. The nursery is connected to the group room and moms go in and out with their babies. We have a comfortable environment. We have resources for moms with older kids who need help with child care.
Bonding with baby does not need to be an issue for moms to come to our program. We have some moms who feel detached from their babies, but we also have many moms who feel very attached to their babies.
Naomi Savoie-Miller, LMSW
I love being with moms during this precious and challenging time in their lives. I have the honor to witness the healing that takes place when our moms realize that they are not alone and that they can recover. This miracle happens in the intimate group setting that our moms create for each other.
I have been a medical social worker in an emergency room, a floating case manager at Pine Rest, and also did group grief work with children and adults.
Mary Zuidema, LMSW
It’s a privilege to work with the moms in this program who are in such a vulnerable time of life. We see hope grow every day as each woman makes progress.
As a social worker at Pine Rest for 15 years, I’ve worked as a clinician in the Contact Center doing hospital admissions, as a therapist at the Caledonia Clinic and as a case manager on the inpatient units, most recently the Hickory unit.
This article was published as part of our Community Partners newsletter to provide information for physician teams and behavioral health providers about mental health trends, services, screening, professional education and more. If you’d like the newsletter emailed to you, please visit our Community Partners page and sign up.