Our guest on this episode of “Healthy Births, Happy Babies” is Paige Bellenbaum, the program director of The Motherhood Center of Manhattan, offering a comprehensive program of services for pregnant and postpartum women to help them overcome perinatal mood and anxiety disorders

In this episode, we will cover:

  1. how Paige’s recovery from severe postpartum (even having suicidal thoughts) led her to become an outspoken advocate on the issue of postpartum depression, and uses her own story as a tool for change
  2. what the most common signs of postpartum depression are so you can recognize them in yourself or others
  3. how to find resources in your city to help yourself out of this seemingly helpless situation

Resources mentioned in the conversation:

About Paige Bellenbaum:

Paige Bellenbaum, LMSW is the program director of The Motherhood Center of Manhattan. For the past 20 years, Paige has been committed to the field of social work practice, focusing her efforts on direct service to have a micro impact, and public policy to have a macro impact.

Paige started her social work career working at a homeless shelter for families in San Francisco, where she built a $4 million Housing and Aftercare Program for families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. She then moved to New York City in 2000 to get her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University. After she graduated, she worked for an organization called the Center for Family Life located in Sunset Park Brooklyn as a Community Developer, where she was responsible for community outreach and relations for the organization. She also oversaw a food pantry and advocacy clinic. Paige then worked as the Director of Advocacy and Community Outreach for Habitat for Humanity – New York City for many years. While at Habitat, she had her first child – Max.

After Max was born, Paige suffered from severe postpartum depression that almost cost her her own life. Once she began to heal, she became committed to fighting for education, screening and treatment for postpartum depression so that no more women would have to suffer silently. She drafted legislation in New York State that was championed by State Senator Liz Krueger, mandating education and strongly encouraging screening of all new and expecting mothers that was signed into law in 2014.

Paige has been an outspoken advocate on the issue of postpartum depression, and uses her own story as a tool for change.

She has appeared on the Today Show, NPR, PBS Newshour and in Women’s Health Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and several other print publications.

Paige recently left her post as Director of Community Programs at Settlement Housing Fund where she oversaw a portfolio of programs ranging from a homeless shelter for families, transitional housing, a state of the art computer lab, and an alternative to incarceration program for young adults.

Paige is currently on the steering committee of the NYC Maternal Depression Collaborative that is responsible for implementing the First Lady of New York’s commitment to screening every new and expecting mother for postpartum depression.

She also is a Board Member of a non-profit called Refoundry that trains formerly incarcerated people to repurpose discarded materials into home furnishings, and incubates participants into their own businesses. Paige has been a member of Community Board 6 in Brooklyn for 5 years, where she serves as the Chair of Human Services.