Walk Out of the Darkness 2017 - Terre Haute

I want to share something near and dear to me on the blog today. Myself and a few other friends are organizing an event for the Wabash Valley area to raise awareness on the importance of maternal mental health.
While 80% of women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15-20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. With informed care women can prevent a worsening of these symptoms and can fully recover. There is no reason to continue to suffer. Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. Although the term “postpartum depression” (PPD) is most often used, there are actually several forms of illness that women may experience including Depression, Anxiety, Pregnancy or Postpartum OCD, Postpartum PTSD, Bipolar Mood Disorder, and Postpartum Psychosis. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help them recover - however many women don't immediately recognize their symptoms or they are brushed off as typical "baby blues." Women may not seek treatment because they feel ashamed or embarrassed. (Source: PPI)
Our mission is to create healthier families, strengthen community, and improve quality of life by raising awareness, reducing stigma, providing social support and connecting mothers to help for maternal mental illnesses like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, bipolar/peripartum onset, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. Together we can promote change in local medical screenings, treatment, and preventative action to allow women to live healthier more productive lives, lower rates of drug, alcohol and domestic abuse and improve childhood care and development. We are seeking to raise awareness about these conditions and to let women know they are not alone.

The event we are organizing is for all ages and kids are welcome! Along the walk, you'll get a chance to interact & share your story and learn more about maternal mental health. We will also have special gift bags for the first 25 people, giveaways, children's activities, vendors, and much more! Please see our event information & schedule below. To stay updated on all the happenings, I encourage you to please join our Facebook Group:

Event Information & Schedule
Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 10 AM - 12 PM Salem United Methodist Church - Hillsdale, IN Join us in raising awareness of maternal mental illnesses like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, bipolar/peripartum onset, and pregnancy depression and anxiety. We will be raising funds for 2020 Mom, a national organization focused on closing gaps in maternal mental care through education, advocacy, and collaboration. In addition to providing information for our event, they will be helping us to host a diaper drive. Please bring a package of diapers to our event! All diapers collected will be distributed locally to Wabash Valley pregnancy centers, women's shelters, and other needy organizations. And you'll get an extra entry into our giveaway drawings! Schedule 10 AM – Welcome/Introductions 10:30 AM – Maternal Mental Health Interactive Walk 11 AM – Pictures, giveaways, and closing remarks 11:15 AM – Social time, viewing of vendor tables/information, family activities, food and drinks

Want to walk with us? Sign up below! Or just want to donate? You can do that there too!
Walk Out - Terre Haute, IN (June 24, 2017) on Crowdrise

#GoandGrowAtWalmart with Similac

Disclosure: This post was developed in partnership with Similac. All opinions are my own.

As a mom I always want to make sure that my kids are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and complete nutrition that comes from eating a great well-rounded diet...however, as a mom I also know that kids can be finicky or picky. Babies and toddlers take time to get used to new flavors - you have to introduce some foods tons of times before they'll eat more than one bite. And at some point in time they all seem to go through a stage where they only want to eat one type of food or where they refuse to try anything new or different. It can be SO frustrating!

Of course you shouldn't skip out on healthy eating, but for those trying times to help toddlers meet their daily servings of fruit and veggies, Similac offers two different products. First up, their Go and Grow pouches that each contain three - four servings of fruit and veggies.

The Go & Grow by Similac pouches come in two age groups. The first stage is for babies six months of age and older and the other stage is for toddlers 12 months and older. We tried four different pouches:

1. Apple, Butternut Squash, Banana, and Blueberry (Toddler)
2. Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Banana, Carrot, Spinach, and Broccoli (Toddler)
3. Mango, Apple, Butternut Squash, and Spinach (Toddler)
4. Pear, Blueberry, and Spinach (Baby)

Betsy's favorite flavor was #1 but really there weren't any that she disliked! These pouches are so, so easy to use. We use them at home of course but I also keep some in our diaper bag at all times because it's a simple snack we can do at the baseball field, the park, while out running errands, etc.

The other product is the Go and Grow Similac Toddler drink. It is packed with over 25 vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, DHA, and Lutein. It comes in cans (like formula) or convenient stick packs. The stick packs are super handy to toss into the diaper bag when you're on the go - just tear one open, add it to water in your child's cup, shake, and go! The drink comes in several options: Unflavored, Sensitive, Non-GMO, and Vanilla. We chose the Vanilla and Betsy LOVES it! (She is using sippy and toddler cups but still has a little bit of preference for the bottle, as seen in the picture below.)

These products can all be found at your local Walmart. (And on the off chance that they're not on the shelf, just check out the Site to Store option!) Want to win a $50 Walmart gift card so you can purchase some for your kiddos? Check it out HERE. Do you use the iBottta app to save money on your groceries and other purchases? If so, be sure to check out this offer for .50 back on any one Go and Grow Similac pouch!

Want even more information? Check out these links: