It's not a memoir or a movie about a woman who indulges and explores to find herself. Instead, Eat, Shop, Love for Moms is meant to help support new moms who may be housebound, anxious and depressed, in time for Mother's Day.
From 5 to 9 p.m., May 10, shops and restaurants on Kitsilano's West Fourth Avenue between Fir and Balsam streets will host Eat, Shop, Love for Moms to raise money and awareness for postpartum depression and anxiety support. Restaurants and retailers will donate a percentage of their sales to the Pacific Post Partum Support Society, a non-profit charitable organization that serves thousands of women each year in Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and beyond.
Donna Hohl, owner of Coco's Closet on West Fourth Avenue near Yew, hadn't heard of the society before she decided to donate 10 per cent of her sales to the initiative, which was co-organized by the Kitsilano 4th Avenue Business Improvement Association. But she knows new moms need support. "I have 15 nieces and nephews," Hohl said. "I've certainly seen my sister, sister-in-laws, it's definitely tough. Especially today, when there's so much pressure on women to be super women. We work, we're career-minded and you have the home. There's a lot of pressure, more so now than 25, 30 years ago."
Hohl said Hell's Kitchen will donate 50 per cent of its food sales.
Sheila Duffy, program manager of the postpartum society, says an estimated one in six women struggle with postpartum depression. Birth and adoptive mothers in Vancouver often struggle with feelings of exhaustion and isolation while they contend with profound life changes. Many lack family supports nearby.
"With adoptive moms, this is probably something that you've wanted, you've probably gone through lots and lots of things in order to make it happen in your life, so they can feel even more guilty or confused by the feelings they're having, or ashamed of them," Duffy said.
The Pacific Post Partum Support Society offers workshops, telephone support and seven support groups in the Lower Mainland, three of them in Vancouver. It helps mothers until their children are three years old. The society serves spouses and partners through telephone support and partner/couple information sessions.
Those suffering with postpartum depression may want to read "A Journey Through Postpartum Depression" on the society's website, postpartum.org. Telephone support is available at 604-255-7999 or toll-free at 855-255-7999.
For more information about the event, see eatshoplove.org.
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