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Continued: HCMC offers moms a safety net for when it isn't just 'baby blues'

  • Article by: ALLIE SHAH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 15, 2013 - 8:59 AM

Once a mother — or family member or friend — realizes there’s a problem, help is not always easy to find.

“Part of our thinking was to create a one-stop place for people,” said Kuendig.

Mothers helping mothers

A distinctive feature of the Mother-Baby Program is that it relies on group therapy to help mothers learn how to respond to their baby’s needs. It also helps them build a support system.

“It’s so important to have a unique program just for pregnant and postpartum women,” said Kuendig, “just to know how common it is and to sit across from someone who is having a similar experience.”

That’s what Beugen discovered.

After she was released from the psychiatric ward, she was more willing to accept help from her husband, Brett, as well as from friends and family. Still, she realized she needed professional help. She took part in an outpatient treatment program and began seeing a psychiatrist, but neither specialized in postpartum depression. Finally, she was referred to Kim at HCMC.

Since then, Beugen has formed friendships with other mothers who struggled with depression. Her second pregnancy, with her son, David, now 11 months old, went much better, she said. Now she’s enjoying motherhood.

“I was talking to someone about how great this has been — it’s gone so fast — and they said ‘This is what it’s supposed to be like.’ This is how it should feel.”


Allie Shah • 612-673-4488


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  • ‘how it should feel’: Emily and Brett Beugen with 5-year-old Sarah and 11-month-old David. In the weeks after Sarah was born, Ellen Beugen struggled with postpartum depression and was admitted to a hospital psychiatric ward.

  • Emily Beugen struggled with postpartum depression after her first child Sarah was born. With no other options available, Beugen spent time in a psych ward that just compounded the issues she was facing. After searching and finding help to deal with her struggle Beugen’s second pregnancy went much better. Here, Emily with her 11-month-old son David at their home in Minneapolis. The first program of its kind in Minnesota to treat mothers struggling with postpartum depression will open on April 15 at Hennepin County Medical Center. The mother-baby program will allow new mothers struggling with depression and other mental...

  • Dr. Helen Kim, director of Hennepin Women’s Mental Health Program, and Jesse Kuendig, coordinator of the Mother-Baby Program. “Part of our thinking was to create a one-stop place,” Kuendig said.

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