Tucson Moms March 2014 Newsletter
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this Issue

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Author:  Mamma's Latte
     Postpartum depression is one of several types of illnesses that are lumped under the name of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). PMADs are the most common complication of childbirth occurring in more than 1 in 5 women during pregnancy and up to 1 year after their baby’s birth.  Although the most common PMAD is depression, other new and soon-to-be moms will be affected by perinatal anxiety, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. A rare 0.1-0.2% of women will develop postpartum psychosis.  In Pima County, 4000 women and their families are likely affected by perinatal mood disorders each year.

     PMADs are linked to pre-term labor and low birth-weight babies in pregnant women. PMADs during the postpartum period can interfere with mother/infant bonding and can result in depression in the infant and young child. Later in childhood, these children can be more aggressive and can have difficulty managing emotions.  PMADs have long-term consequences on women’s lives as well as their partners with increased risk for substance abuse, chronic depression and disturbed relationships.

     The following list shows some examples of which circumstances can put a new mom at a greater risk for developing a PMAD: Unresolved issues, unmet child-hood needs, the loss of a parent, sexual and other trauma, a history of depression or anxiety or family history of mood illness, drug or alcohol use.  As well as isolation from family, lack of support, relationship difficulties, financial and job stress, less than high school education, an unwanted pregnancy, single motherhood, or a significant loss.

     A history of hormonal sensitivity or PMAD with a previous birth, a miscarriage or abortion, infertility issues, a difficult pregnancy or a long/difficult labor, a premature infant or an infant in the NICU, and last but not least breastfeeding difficulties can also trigger the onset of a PMAD.

So how do PMADs affect women?
     The Baby Blues brings on crying spells for no apparent reason, impatience, irritability, restlessness, anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed and occurs in up to 80% of all new moms. It will resolve without treatment and is not a disorder but a naturally occurring event following childbirth. It usually subsides after 2 weeks. 

     Postpartum Depression (PPD) is the leading complication of childbirth occurring in between 10-25% of women worldwide.  PPD responds well to treatment.  Symptoms include:  sluggishness, fatigue, sadness, hopelessness. Appetite and sleep change (more or less), confusion, poor concentration, and memory loss. Also lack of interest in the baby, lack of interest in sex, uncontrollable crying, or over-concern for baby can occur. Guilt, inadequacy, shame, worthlessness, fear of being alone are common. Fear of harming self or the baby, exaggerated highs and lows as well as anger and irritability.  The above symptoms can be mild to severe.  Moms report bad days and good days.  The experience is as unique as each woman.

     Postpartum anxiety disorders - Anxiety, Panic, OCD, PTSD: A heightened maternal instinct to protect the baby and the cascade of oxytocin and other hormones can trigger episodes of anxiety. They tend to occur more frequently in women who already have a history of anxiety.  It is a disorder when it leads to dysfunction, distress and panic, for which treatment is available. Symptoms include: intense anxiety, fear, nervousness, rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, a sense of doom, numbness, loss of sensation, tingling, hot or cold flashes, chest pain, shaking and/or dizziness.

     Postpartum OCD is an anxiety disorder in which women report discomfort with how they feel and what they think.  Because of the nature of recurring bizarre thoughts or actions, it is sometimes misunderstood as psychosis, and women who experience it sometimes feel like they are going crazy.  A woman with a history of OCD is at greater risk and her postpartum symptoms may be more severe.  Symptoms include obsessions (persistent thoughts), compulsive behaviors (repetition) to reduce the discomfort and fear, a sense of horror at the thoughts, and avoidant behavior.  A woman with OCD who is having scary thoughts about harming her baby may avoid being with the baby, both to safeguard the baby and to minimize the opportunity for these thoughts.  It is important to note that women with OCD are disgusted or frightened by their thoughts and wonder why they are happening.  It is believed that there is no risk of harm to the baby as there might be in postpartum psychosis.

     Postpartum PTSD is another anxiety disorder and can result from a perceived traumatic childbirth.  In this case, the response is to some ev
ent(s) that did not go according to plan, or were unexpected. This might range from pain of childbirth to surgical rather than vaginal childbirth, feeding difficulties, infant complications, etc.  It can take mothers many months to come to terms with, and these women often are both anxious and depressed.  The definition of ‘trauma’ in this disorder is very personal to the mother, and may not at first seem like a traumatic event to the observer.The most severe and rarest postpartum reaction is Postpartum Psychosis.  It occurs in about 0.1% of women (1 in 1000).  Time of onset is usually within the first 3 weeks to 4 months after childbirth.  It is now believed that women with bipolar disorder are at greater risk for postpartum psychosis than the general population.  Symptoms are usually noticeable and exaggerated, but many women wax and wane between reality and unreality during the day.  When agitation, delusional thoughts and mania are present it is easy to recognize that something is very wrong.

  Postpartum psychosis usually requires hospitalization and stabilization with medication.  If left untreated, it can lead to suicide or infanticid
e in 10% of its victims. Stressors around childbirth can be catalysts.   A woman with PPP is often suffering from severe, untreated depression or anxiety, and will have lost the ability to make good judgments; her cognitive thinking is disordered.  She has hallucinations and delusions, and often feels she is acting in the best interest of her baby or children when she harms them or herself.  Command hallucinations (voices she is hearing that are outside herself, or another voice within herself) tell her she must commit the act.  Symptoms are  hallucinations, delusions, mania, agitation, insomnia, and bizarre behavior.

Mood disorders during pregnancy and postpartum should be treated with the same attention as other physical complaints. Attending support groups (Northwest Medical Center and St. Joe’s Hospital offer specific Moms groups here in Tucson), individual and/or couples counseling, and/or medication can help treat PMADS.

Postpartum doula support, exercise programs including yoga and dance, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, massages, and social support like doula care, and home visitor programs can also be effective. Just telling about the birth has also helped many moms. Self –care like adequate rest, time to oneself, adequate nutrition and exercise are crucial for moms to get better. Sometimes reducing expectations alone can change a mom’s mind set and help her come to terms with what she is experiencing.

So how can we prevent PMADs? All women and should be screened regularly during pregnancy and the year following their baby’s birth. If the doctor doesn’t screen with the free Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, it can be found online.  A score of 9 or higher indicates that the mom is at risk for a PMAD and might connect with her OB to begin getting help.

 For more information about local resources please contact the Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition at 1.888.434.MOMS or visit their website at


St. Patty’s Day Cookie Dough Truffles

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of mini chocolate chips
14 oz candy melts
4 inch lollipop sticks

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl mix together butter and sugars until fluffy.
Step 2: Add vanilla and milk to the sugar mixture and mix well.
Step 3: Add flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until dough comes together.
Step 4: Stir in chocolate chips and chill dough for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Take out dough and shape into small bite size balls. Put one stick in the middle of each truffle then freeze for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Melt candy in microwave safe bowl according to package directions.
Step 7: Take truffles out of freezer and dip each one into candy until coated. Add sprinkles now or leave plain.

Makes: about 2 dozen

Recipe and picture from You Made That? Blog


O u r  P l a y g r o u p s

Northwest  NW '13, NW '12 & Siblings, NW '11, NW '10, NW '09 & Siblings, NW Toddlers & Siblings, Oro Valley All Ages,   Central Central All Ages, Military Moms East East '11-12, Foothills '13, Rita Ranch '13  South Vail Tots, South All Ages, SW Tots  Sub Clubs Book Club


Vail Tots made cookies and had a hoot at their MNO event!


Vail Tots & moms making super soft playdough for Valentine's Day.  



MNO:  Vail moms enjoying a night out painting at Creative Juice Art Bar.

Foothills 2013 had a MNO at El Charro!

We'd love to know what your playgroup is doing this month and we'd love to feature your group in the newsletter too.  Send your best pics to



Tucson Moms
N e w s  &  E v e n t s


 Coming Soon

City-wide Mom's Night Out

Our next City-wide MNO will be coming just around the corner this April or May! Look for further details in your email inbox.

Movie in the Park

We will be renting a family Movie and will hire a DJ to play it at a local park.
Plan on bringing blankets, lawn chair or yes-- even laundry baskets (great for the kids to sit in and relax)! Bring a picnic dinner and we will provide the popcorn and drinks.
Date and Time TBD. Look for more details to come!


Playgroup Updates

Welcome our new and returning playgroups:

East '14 -Wednesday 10 am,
Amy Pertile

GLBT- Thursdays 11-1,
Alison VanDyke

Military Moms -TBD
Alexis Lercher

East All Ages is looking for a Playgroup leader. If you're interested, please contact us at


As you know Tucson Moms is run purely by volunteers. You are receiving this email because when you joined Tucson Moms you said you would be interested in volunteering.


Take a look at the list of volunteer positions below.  Tucson Moms currently has a number of volunteer opportunities available. If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at We are available to answer any questions you may have. Remember: any amount of time you have to give is helpful! Many of these positions require only small amounts of time.


Please read the jobs below. If it is grayed out, then we do not have a current need to fill the position. However if it is one you're very interested in, please let us know! You never know what might become available!


Co-Director- Can you multi-task?  Are you organized?  Do you enjoy knowing the inner workings of an organization?  If so, we have the perfect position for you.  We are looking for Jackie’s replacement immediately as she has had some family issues to take care of. We also will be looking to replace Kendra in the next 6 months as she has served her full term and then some.  If you are interested in gaining a lot of experience running a non-profit group, then send us an email.  This position is a great resume builder!

Treasurer- The Treasurer will be responsible for managing the budget and assuring all TM expenditures are within budgetary limits. Directors must submit all receipts to Treasurer in a timely manner. See Treasurer Duties file for a more complete description.

Registrar- Maintain a monthly list of current Tucson Moms Members. Help leader and members with membership question. Manually enter any registrations that are given via snail mail. Email renewal notices. Help create the Newsletter email list.

Newsletter Editor – Do you like reading the newsletter every month?  Do you have ideas for how to make it even better?  Enjoy writing and proofreading?  Then the Newsletter Editor position might be perfect for you!  You will work with the director(s), design and layout, and the advertising coordinator as well as the newsletter committee to put together the ten issues for the year.  You would come up with themes for the issues, gather content, and proofread articles.

Layout Editor- Would you be interested in figuring out how the articles and ads should appear in the newsletter? Perhaps you like to draw/ Photoshop your own custom head lines, pictures, graphics etc then perhaps you may like to try your hand at designing our monthly Newsletter.

Advertising Coordinator New Accounts- Do you like to talk to people? Are you frequently out and about town and interacting with business that target mothers, young children, babies, family's then you may be just who we are looking for to help connect them with Tucson Moms. We need someone who would be willing to talk to local businesses who my want to advertise with us on both our newsletter and our website.

Advertising Coordinator Current Accounts- Takes care of our monthly advertising needs for our advertisers. Bill our advertisers on a quarterly basis and connect with our Treasure  when payment is due and made. Work with our website coordinator and newsletter editor/ layout what ads are current.


Newsletter Contributors – Do you like to write?  Do you have an opinion on things?  Each month we have a different topic in our newsletter and we are always looking for more contributors.  Whether it’s writing something every month, handling a regular feature, giving ideas, or contributing an article when the mood strikes you, we can use your help!


Playgroup Leader – Ever considered being a playgroup leader? It is a fulfilling and simple job that requires a minimal amount of time each month. Consider helping out your playgroup by being the new leader if your leader is stepping down soon or just helping out with an event when your leader needs a little assistance. The core support and friendship of Tucson Moms is found in our playgroups. So think about lending a hand.  The difference you make in the lives of others will make you feel great inside!



Kendra McDermed

Lisa Locke

Elizabeth Baccardo

Rebecca McCourt

Website Coordinator
Erika Button

Events Coordinator

Advertising Coordinators
Giovanna Greene

Newsletter Editor
Amy Pertile

Community Involvement Committee – Do you want to give back to the community and help others?  The Community Involvement Committee is responsible for organizing and facilitating several small charitable opportunities throughout the Tucson Moms year, including our Annual Giving Event in November.

Events Coordinator – Do you always know what is going on around town? Then this position is an easy one for you. We need someone to share duties in gathering information about family activities for our newsletter.

MNO Coordinator – Have great ideas on how we moms can celebrate a night without the kiddos?  Take the lead on planning one of our three city-wide MNOs for the year, with the support of the Social Committee.

Outreach Committee – Have you had a positive experience with Tucson Moms and want to share it with others?  Do you have a background in marketing or public relations and want to keep those skills strong?  The Outreach Committee spreads the word about Tucson Moms to other moms looking for the friendship and support we have all found in Tucson Moms.  Whether it is contacting businesses and organizations, manning a table at an event, speaking to a group, dropping off brochures at your doctor’s office, or writing press releases, there are many ways to be involved and promote Tucson Moms.

Social Committee – Do you like to plan events?  Can you come up with fun ideas and activities?  Our Social Committee plans everything from our MNOs to family events like the night at the Tucson Children’s Museum.  You can volunteer for just one event or for all of them.  Come share your new ideas and help promote fun and unity in Tucson Moms


B o o k  C l u b

Lela Williams NW' 10
Do you love to read books for fun (i.e., books NOT about parenting, toilet training, aggressive toddler behavior)? That is, would you like to read a book that is just for you and be able to share your thoughts and ideas about that book with others? Consider joining Tucson Mom's book club! We read a different book once a month and meet at different restaurants all over Tucson to share ideas, dinner, and good conversation. We have the schedule up a few months in advance so that you can join in on whatever book interests you. We generally meet the second week of every month (a weeknight at 6:30pm). We have read a lot of different kinds of books; from non-fiction to fiction, from books that keep you up at night to books that you think are never going to end (not everyone likes everything), from books that make you laugh ("Naked") to books that inspire ("The Glass Castle"), from the shocking "Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" to the scandalous "Fifty Shades of Grey" (yeah, we went there). Every book club reader gets to select a book for the group to read (if they want) so you never know what kind of new and different book you might read next. The discussion can be formal (posed discussion questions to the group) or informal (general thoughts or reflections on the book) but we like to try to keep it about the book (as much as possible!).

March 2014 Book Club

 by Cheryl Strayed
 Wednesday 26th @7 PM
 Wilko 943 E. University Boulevard Sweet 171

Email Lela at


March 2014

Events and Activities


All Together Theater Presents: Peter and the Wolf

Sundays (2, 9, & 16)

The brave Peter is on the search for a wolf that has been terrorizing his village. His adventure leads him through a forest full of wacky characters, mysterious riddles, and unexpected twists. His journey leads him to a surprising conclusion, and he realizes that things aren't always what they seem. Come help Peter find the wolf in this interactive musical, with original music and lyrics by Michael Martinez.
Where: Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E Speedway Blvd
When: 1:00 PM
Who: The whole family
Cost: Tickets $7-$10 with discounts available for cash

Arizona Renaissance Festival

Every Weekend in March 

Leave your cares behind as you cheer for brave knights and roam our 30-acre festival village filled with castles, cottages and pubs, and 13 stages of nonstop performances of music, acrobatics, dance and comedy. Foolish pleasures mix with artisan treasures as you shop, eat, and revel with a cast of nearly 2,000 colorfully costumed characters. Have more fun than you thought possible in a single day!
Where: East of Apache Junction on U.S. Highway 60
When: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Feb. 8 through March 30, rain or shine
Who: The whole family
Cost: Advance admission at FRYS food stores: Adults $20.00; Children 5-12 $10.00 (under 5 are FREE.) Admission is $2 dollars more at the gate. Senior 60 and older are $19.00 at the gate. Parking is FREE courtesy of Fry's
Saturday Wildlife Exhibit at Catalina State Park


Every Saturday In March

Enjoy live animals and kids activities every Saturday, weather permitting (temperatures in the 50s and not raining or very windy). A crew of volunteer assistants enchant visitors at the park trail head with a menagerie of reptiles, arachnids, and animals who inhabit the Sonoran Desert. Some animals that may be on exhibit include rattlesnakes, Gopher snakes, Gila Monsters, desert tortoise, tarantula, and scorpions! 
Where: Catalina State Park, Main Trailhead parking area
When: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Who: Open to the public.
How: Just show up
Cost: $7 per vehicle (up to 4 adults)


Tucson Moms is on Pinterest!  Check us out for so many good ideas on positive parenting, playing, learning, you name it.  Again, so many good ideas.

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