Fort McCoy offering newborn classes to new Afghan moms

FORT McCOY, Wis. — Officials at Fort McCoy say they are now offering newborn classes to Afghan women staying at the base who have recently become new mothers.

The first “Welcome Baby” class was held at Fort McCoy’s Women’s Resource Center on November 11, officials said. The class discusses postpartum depression, meditation, soothing a crying baby, safe sleep practices, nutrition and hygiene.

“We wanted to help our new mothers feel supported, as well as have some basic information about caring for themselves and their new baby,” clinical social worker and Task Force McCoy volunteer Julia Yeary said in a news release.

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The CDC says one out of eight women experiences symptoms of postpartum depression.

“With living in a war-torn country, then the extreme stress caused by the evacuation, we know these mothers’ risk for postpartum depression is even higher,” Yeary said.

The hope is the classes provide Afghan women with the tools and knowledge to care for their children as new mothers while they navigate the resettlement process in America.

“We really wanted to help these new mothers feel supported as they focus on parenting their baby in this new country,” Yeary said. “I love seeing these moms with their babies. You can see the love and pride they have as they hold their babies, and their babies are gorgeous. We want these little ones to have the best start in life possible.”