Two big concerns on many a new mom’s mind are bonding with her baby and getting her body back in shape. We’re fortunate to have two franchises locally that may help meet these goals, although they aren’t specifically for pregnancy or postpartum depression (etc.).

“My Gym” in Kailua, has mom and baby groups for babies 6 weeks to 6 months and then 7 months to 13 months, and others as well. Stroller Strides is island-wide and offers moms a mom and baby workout, outside, with other moms.

Bonding, or, attachment. This is a big issue in the professional PPD literature. PPD can interfere with attachment; it’s hard to form any relationship when you’re feeling anxious or depressed.–Heck, just being around the people we love while experiencing PPD can be difficult.–Yet a good attachment with baby and parent can reduce long-term impacts of postpartum depression. That’s a bit simplistic, but My Gym is a simple, positive help for parent and baby fun. The Kailua location opened on June 28, so no reviews from moms/dads locally about increased feelings of closeness with baby yet. It just looks like their Little Bundles and Tiny Tykes parent participation classes could really help make some headway. Attachment, by the way, isn’t instant. It builds over time.

For the body and PPD, one of the things suggested as a natural remedy is exercise. Anyone who has had PPD of any variety can tell you, in the beginning, exercise is way down on the list of priorities, far past the item, “get shower in before 3 p.m.” Everything weighs so heavily with PPD, at least initially. As treatment begins to take effect though, or for those with more mild symptoms, exercise may be a good option.

Stroller Strides currently has an article , Walk Away From the Baby Blues, referencing Australian research. After a 12 week session, the mothers had less symptoms of postpartum depression. In an email from Stroller Strides HQ, I was assured that they “do have dads as members… but not that many!” So, any dads out there experiencing a postpartum struggle, check it out. And check out a future entry about dads having PPD.

Both My Gym and Stroller Strides increase a parent’s social support network. That, combined with getting out of the house… can be priceless.

Check these out and report back!