parent support

Support for Families Affected By the Shutdown

Recess Collective was designed to harness the power of community in the effort to support families with young children. This is crucial for survival of a typical day as a parent, but also when crisis hits.

As the partial government shutdown continues, we are called to extend additional support to our friends and members who are federal employees.

Making ends meet without a paycheck is extremely stressful; we want to help alleviate some of this stress for our community. So we invite all parents of young children affected by the shutdown to come in for free access to support and play in a safe & healthy space at Recess.

Until the shutdown ends, we are offering federal employees with a valid government ID waived membership dues. This service is offered to current members as well as individuals and families who join Recess in January, 2019. Additionally, we welcome all non-member employees to come as our guest to reboot with a free cup of coffee, and space to let your little one play.

Our fundamental goal is to build connection through this place we’ve created for families. Recess invites government employees to lean in to this support while they’re experiencing unplanned challenges. To use this program, please send us an email at hello@recesscollective.org

Postpartum Resources

Taking Care of New Mamas

With all of the excitement built up around welcoming a new baby into the world, it can be surprising to know that the most common complications of childbirth are perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression.

Whether you are going through stress, adjustment to parenting, Baby Blues, or pregnancy or postpartum depression/anxiety, below are some helpful tools and resources.


There are several different types of mental illness related to childbirth, with different symptoms and risks.

PSI-English-Moms-Poster-1.jpg

It can be confusing because "postpartum depression" is often used as an umbrella term to cover many different conditions that can occur during pregnancy or postpartum. It is possible for women to have symptoms such as panic and anxiety, obsessive intrusive thoughts, anger, and mania, without primary depression.

If a mom has a major Postpartum Depression with no psychotic features, she does not have delusional thinking, although she might have distorted negative views of herself or her life due to her depression. Rather than being at risk of hurting others, a severely depressed or anxious mom without proper support and information can be at risk of suicide because she does not realize that she will recover. She is likely to fear that she is not a good mother, and myths and mistaken descriptions of postpartum depression add to her fear and resulting risk. There is a difference between psychosis, where there is a real break from reality, and depression or anxiety, in which the woman is in distress but in touch with reality. An informed medical professional can and should assess whether a woman is depressed, anxious, or psychotic.

Additionally, the terms “baby blues” and “postpartum depression” are not interchangeable. Baby blues is not a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. It is a normal hormonal adjustment period after birth that usually resolves naturally within 3 weeks postpartum.

-http://www.postpartum.net/about-psi/overview/

If you are a mom who needs help, here are some key emergency resources:

National Crisis Text Hotline:

  • Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline and Website

  • 1-800-273-8255

  • www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Call for yourself or someone you care about; free and confidential; network of more than 140 crisis centers nationwide; available 24/7

Call PSI’s free Helpline, available in English and Spanish. 1.800.944.4773. They also have coordinators for Dads, Military FamiliesSpanish-speaking families, and Arabic-speaking Families 


Resource Library

  • Postpartum Progress, a widely read blog addressing issues surrounding motherhood and perinatal mood concerns www.postpartumprogress.com


Related Readings

A Mother is Born, Gina Hassan, PhD http://birthways.org/tag/postpartum-the-fourth-trimester

Postpartum Recession, Jessica Zucker, PhD
http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/postpartum-recession

Importance of self-care & self-care techniques. Incorporating Mindfulness Into Motherhood
Cassandra Vieten, PhD
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindful-motherhood/201005/incorporating-mindfulness-motherhood

The "Good Enough Mother". Self-Care, relaxation skills and stress management

Lessons From My Daughter, Juli Fraga, PsyD
http://www.theconversation.tv/parenting/lessons-from-my-daughter-1/

The New Nest: From Partners to Parents. Communication with Partners/Family members: Creative ways to find time for couple/partner connection

Emotional Aspects of Parenting, Showing CARE, Juli Fraga, PsyD & Melissa Whippo, LCSW

Breastfeeding Concerns & Returning to Work. "A Second Chance at Breastfeeding" by Kim Simon: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kim-simon/a-second-chance-at-breastfeeding_b_3041794.html

"Six Tips for Dealing with Your Partner Returning to Work After Baby" by the Stir: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-stir/6-tips-for-dealing-with_b_2972742.html

Additional Articles about the Motherhood Journey:

Books:

Becoming the Parent You Want To Be, Laura Davis & Janis Keyser

Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, Shoshana Bennet, PhD & Pec Indman, EdD, MFT

The Birth of a Mother: How the Motherhood Experience Changes You Forever, Daniel Stern, MD

Mindful Birthing, Nancy Bardacke, CNM

Mothering Without a Map, Kathryn Black

Parenting From the Inside Out, Daniel Siegel, MD & Mary Hartzell, MEd

iPhone/Smartphone Application:

Mindful Pregnancy App developed by Nancy Bardacke, CNM from the UCSF Osher Center.

Dear Recess Community...

Dear Recess Community,

Despite a flourishing community of incredible families with young children, dedicated caregivers, remarkably talented professionals, and a staff that couldn't be better, we are sad to announce that August will mark Recess' last month of business.  Recess will close the Potrero Hill location for its final day on August 31st, although that won't be the end! 

Our plan is to go full force until then! We have CPR classes, precess drop off program, our monthly dance party with Charity Kahn, sensory lab, and even date night drop off slated for the next couple of months. We hope you will join us and continue to support Recess until the very end. We need it.  If you'd like to build the nonprofit from the ground up together with us, there are several ways to do so (click here).  Any questions about Recess Collective or offers of assistance can be directed to hello@recesscollective.org

Closing Recess and leaving the community that has helped us grow up has been the hardest decision I’ve ever made.  Anyone focused on the numbers (and not on the impact we have on families) would argue that we should have closed 4 years ago when our rent doubled.  I naïvely believed that if we rolled up our sleeves at that time, we could piece it together, and continue to make Recess a success. Since then, we've spent nearly $1 million in rent and have reduced our profit margin to zero. Our building recently sold again, and the asking rent for our space is now increasing another 35%. I'm very simply not able to do it anymore. We cannot increase pricing for families coming to play (it’s already too high), we must pay our staff the living wage they deserve, and I owe it to my family to be able to bring home some kind of income.  So this is the end of this chapter for Recess. It has been an incredible experience getting to see children grow up, families create lasting memories and to know that parents are able to breathe a sigh of relief when they walk through our doors.

It really does take a village and you’ve been our amazing village.  Our very first member, Jenny Sagstrom, was an early believer and continues to support Recess with in-kind donations of design services from her company Skona. Beth Freeman, was another early adopter (in fact the first person to see our space as we were moving in).  Beth hasn’t used Recess in several years, as her daughter is nearly done with middle school, but she couldn’t come to terms with “quitting” Recess so decided to have us continue billing her $20 a month as a supporter. PREFund is a Potrero Hill based organization that has also helped Recess to flourish.  We have had the opportunity to work together with them on their mission to keep families in San Francisco by community building and supporting education. Of course, stories like this could go on for days. I am not sure how we’ve been so lucky.

You made this community, and you have allowed it to last over a decade.  We are incredibly thankful you chose to support our mission.  Stay tuned for announcements about celebrations we have slated (for current members and alumni) to come together again before the end of August.  While we’re closing Potrero Hill, it is all of you who have inspired us to keep playing a part in improving the landscape of San Francisco for families with young children. As we shift gears and look forward, we hope to bring the same joy and sense of support with us.  

If you share the belief that Recess (or something like it) should absolutely continue to exist in every neighborhood, as I do, please consider supporting our new nonprofit effort, Recess CollectiveAs a non-profit entity, our hope is to grow beyond the scope possible as a for-profit and reach even more families choosing to stay in the city.

Thank you to every single one of you.  We have been blessed to be surrounded by parents, small business owners, dedicated caregivers, educators & professionals in the community who have given support, shared feedback, and helped us flourish.

As Recess closes its doors, we hope you will please keep playing with those amazing children, supporting one another, and visiting us in our new home on Taraval.

All the best,
Lisa

PS. RECESS MEMBERS:  We will still be taking care of you & you’ll hear from us within the next week with a note specifically addressing next steps for your membership.

Especially for Moms: Healthy Meals & Nutrition Framework

Guest post by Sri Bodanapu

Being a mom is hard work! While we focus on ensuring our families are well taken care of, we often tend to neglect our own nutrition needs. And as we know, lack of proper nutrients can lead to a variety of health conditions such as fatigue, stress, weight gain and blood sugar problems. Nutrition can impact how we feel, how our bodies function and our ability to lead a high quality life.

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So let’s simplify your nutrition needs by using the Bauman College’s Eating for Health Model.  You need protein to maintain/build our muscles and organs, healthy fats to maintain cell integrity, complex carbohydrates as a source of energy and many essential vitamins and minerals to regulate metabolism, blood sugar and cholesterol.

Depending on your health goals, macronutrient ratios can be adjusted so you get your desired nutrition levels. As an example, perhaps you want to work on blood sugar management? In that case, you could increase your intake of clean fats like avocado, flaxseeds, cold water fish, and nuts and lower your intake of carbohydrates. Or you might want to build muscle in which case you would increase your intake of protein from legumes, meat, eggs and simultaneously decrease your intake of the other two macronutrient groups.

Let’s start by using this simple matrix to build your meals. And once you have your ratios figured out, use the cheat sheet below to quickly plug in the relevant ingredients depending on what suits your palate. Also pump up your intake of booster foods which are nutrient dense and have many health promoting properties.  
 

Eating for Health Model*

 

Eating for Health Ingredients List*


Fine Tuning Your Plan

A second step to optimizing for your nutrition is to focus on any additional needs your body has and increase the intake of specific nutrients. Moms often complain about stress, fatigue and gut health. Here are some important nutrients to address those issues.

Stress

Magnesium
A magnesium deficiency may play a strong role in disrupting the body’s stress system. Best sources are leafy greens, sea veggies, black beans, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.

Zinc
It is considered to be a ‘resiliency’ mineral and plays a part in controlling the brain and body’s response to stress. Best sources of food are oysters, red meat, pumpkin seeds, split peas, sesame butter and nuts like walnuts, almonds and pecans.

Fatigue

Iron
1 in 4 women is iron deficient which makes low iron a leading cause of fatigue. Beef liver, ground beef chicken and turkey (use grass fed meat as much as possible) are great sources of iron. For a vegetarian diet eat more lentils, leafy greens, kidney beans and blackstrap molasses.

B12
A deficiency in B12 can be caused by low stomach acid, GI issues and often a vegetarian diet. B12 is mostly found in animal proteins and as such not bioavailable in the vegetarian diet. If you are a vegetarian, the best sources are seaweed, spirulina and nutritional yeast. And apple cider vinegar is a great way to boost that stomach acid and increase the absorption of B12.

Gut health

Fiber
It is extremely important as it improves motility and helps eliminate toxic compounds. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is key to increasing fiber intake. Taking a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber is important since it not only helps with a consistent bowel movement but also reduces chances of other conditions such as cardio vascular disease and blood sugar dis-regulation.

Probiotic support
Increasing 'good' bacteria will help restore the balance in the gut. Lactobacillus acidophillus and Bifidobacterium infantus, can help heal a compromised gut. Great food sources are yogurt, kefir, tempeh, and fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut.

 

As you can see, there is so much that can be done to improve your health. Start small. Make one little change, practice it for 3 days and then add to it. Set yourself up for success so you feel motivated to do more! Eating healthy is not hard - it just takes some planning and can definitely be implemented into your lifestyle!

healthy meals family moms

Interested in learning more?
 

4 week workshop starts September 22

Join us for an informative and timely class on health and nutrition! Participants will learn the tools necessary to better their health, energy, and performance in the workplace and beyond. Topics such as eating for health, weight management, complex carbohydrates, clean proteins and healthy fats and weight management will be covered in this 4 week workshop. Each class will be one hour long and include a 30 minute lecture, a healthy homemade snack and plenty of time for questions!

Two participants will be offered 4 individualized nutrition consultation sessions and will receive a personalized health plan that includes diet and lifestyle recommendations based on their health and wellness goals!

Cost: 4 week series $40/non-member, $35/member

About the Author and Workshop Instructor: Sri Bodanapu is currently finishing up her Nutrition Consultant degree from the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition. She has worked in the food industry in a variety of roles and is a firm believer that food can heal and make us thrive. From soaking to fermenting and packing meals with nutrient dense ingredients like nuts and seeds, she believes there are many easy ways for us to eat better. Sri is a mom to a 1.5year old and in her free time obsesses about what to make for her family's next meal.

Questions? Email vaishnavib@gmail.com

*Eating for Health model and Eating for Health Ingredients List adapted from the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition.

** The purpose of the article is not to provide medical nutrition services, or treat a disease. Rather, I educate people on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to improve their quality of life.