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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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New Web-Based Support Group for Pregnant Women and Moms Struggling With Eating Disorders Launches

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - February 18, 2014) - "Lift the Shame" is the first web-based support group of its kind specifically targeted to offer support and resources to pregnant women and moms with eating disorders. The web-based support group is a free, confidential online group hosted by certified eating disorders specialist Maggie Baumann, MFT, CEDS, in partnership with Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, located just outside of Chicago.

"I am so excited to partner with Timberline Knolls in making this dream a reality by offering support to this unique population of clients, pregnant women and moms with eating disorders," said group facilitator Baumann, a psychotherapist based in Newport Beach, CA. "I've run other support groups for nearly six years. The needs of a mom or a pregnant woman with an eating disorder are much different than those who struggle as teens or college-age group members. There is also a huge shame factor that moms and pregnant women with eating disorders hold because they know, if they are not in denial, that their unhealthy behaviors directly affect their children or unborn babies."

Any English speaking mom or pregnant woman with an eating disorder, from anywhere in the world, can join this special online group from the privacy of her computer, iPad/tablet or smartphone.

"Lift the Shame" support group launches live on the web Sunday, March 9, 2014, from 4-5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). The group will be held the second Sunday of each month from 4-5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) or 7-8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). 

"We see first-hand the shame and devastation eating disorders can bring to women and their loved ones," said Kim Dennis MD, CEDS, CEO and medical director of Timberline Knolls, a treatment center for women and girls struggling with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. "This support group will be a safe place for so many moms and pregnant women struggling with these disorders."

The support group is affiliated with the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) and features a place of community support, education, and resources as well as professional guest speakers to discuss subjects that affect pregnant women and moms with eating disorders. Support groups like "Lift the Shame" serve as a useful adjunct to treatment. Research has shown that support groups can be one of the most valuable experiences in the recovery process. 

"Lift the Shame" web-based support group is open to pregnant women or moms struggling with all types of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. 

Baumann, who herself struggled with an eating disorder with the pregnancy of her second child 27 years ago, is a contributing author on Pregnancy and Eating Disorders, an upcoming book on eating disorders in special populations (publish date summer 2014).

"We titled this first-of-a-kind web-based group, 'Lift the Shame,' so moms and pregnant women could seek eating disorder support and resources in a safe, confidential and non-judging environment with a community of women who share the same struggles," adds Baumann. "Shaming anyone with an eating disorder is only going to push that person to isolate and struggle in silence." 

ANAD coordinates a national network of free in-person support groups facilitated by approved leaders or professionals, in order to assist individuals and families in a greater understanding of the complexity of eating disorders and maintaining lifelong recovery. An ANAD Support Group is a peer or therapist led group during which members share eating disorder concerns and struggles, and work toward maintaining recovery. ANAD groups not only provide a safe place to share, but they offer information or resources in the community. As self-help groups, they are not therapy groups, but serve a secondary purpose of supporting members as they continue their journey toward overall wellness. ANAD groups are free to all who attend.

For those interested in getting on the mail list for participation in this confidential online support group, email [email protected]. You can also contact Maggie by phone with any questions at (949) 439-2607.

About Timberline Knolls:

Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 - 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook - Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn - Timberline Knolls.

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