Supporting Mothers in Recovery

November 30, 2023

Pursuing treatment for an eating disorder or another mental health concern can be incredibly difficult, especially for mothers who may be facing leaving their children and families for the first time. The complexity of this decision can be compounded by the demands of motherhood, which often include sleepless nights, postpartum adjustments, and relationship changes.

Timberline Knolls is here to support mothers and their families during every stage of the recovery journey. By taking a step away from regular life and focusing on healing, a mother can begin making strides toward a happier and more fulfilling life.

Preparing for Treatment

According to an article in Infant Behavior and Development, parents are often faced with conflicting pressures between their desire to be with their family and their need to pursue other goals, such as self-care and recovery. Mothers may feel guilt, worry, sadness, and anxiety when they leave their families for the first time. They might downplay their struggles or believe that they can navigate recovery on their own. However, receiving treatment can be the most precious gift a mother can give her family.

Before leaving for treatment, a mother should prepare her family for her absence. This might include arranging child care, having discussions with her children about what to expect while she is gone, and setting realistic expectations for every member of the household. This can help a mother have peace of mind and be able to focus fully on her recovery.

If possible, a mother should seek to educate her family about eating disorders and involve them in her treatment journey. This might include having open and honest conversations about eating disorders, what causes them, and how they can impact someone’s life. A mom can also encourage her family to seek support for themselves while she is away. If family members have not started their own healing process, it may be difficult for them to provide the support their loved one needs. Timberline Knolls offers a family program that is designed to support family members as they adjust to new routines and different roles while their loved one is in treatment.

Specialized Support for Moms

Timberline Knolls offers personalized eating disorder treatment for women whose lives have been impacted by eating disorders, the effects of trauma, substance use disorders, mood disorders, and other mental health concerns. By choosing to take the time to participate in one of Timberline Knolls’ programs, a mother can receive comprehensive support and embark on the road to recovery.

In treatment, mothers can address underlying concerns that may have contributed to their struggles with an eating disorder, learn healthy coping mechanisms, and build a strong foundation for lasting well-being. Timberline Knolls provides a specialized group for moms in recovery. In this group, moms can find solace, encouragement, and support from other women who are in similar situations.

Throughout treatment, moms in recovery can work with a diverse team of experienced professionals, which may include psychiatrists, counselors, dietitians, nutritionists, and medical doctors. Treatment only lasts for a short period of time, but the skills they learn, and the lifestyle changes they make, can benefit them for the rest of their life.

Lift the Shame Online Support Group*

At Timberline Knolls, we understand the unique struggles moms in recovery face. Because of that, we have designed an online support group for moms who may not be able to take part in one of our in-person programs. Our Lift the Shame support group offers a lifeline for moms and moms-to-be who are struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, and other eating disorders. In this monthly group, mothers can take a significant step toward a healthier future for themselves and their families.

This virtual gathering offers a space for women to break free from the shame and stigma associated with eating disorders. This free, anonymous support group is led by highly qualified professionals and offers a safe and non-judgmental space for mothers to meet with others.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder or another behavioral health concern, we encourage you to reach out to the caring staff at Timberline Knolls. You do not have to continue to suffer. Help is available today.

*Free, anonymous support group conducted by Crystal Claytonia Karges, M.S., RDN, IBCLC, RD. If you are interested, please email Crystal at

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center offers a nurturing environment of recovery that helps each woman in our care to strengthen herself from within. Every member of our accomplished team commits to embodying our Core Values by serving our residents and their families with: uncompromising care, relentless compassion, an unconditional, joyful spirit. A private, integrated treatment center located on 43 tranquil acres, Timberline Knolls includes a state-approved school and 24-hour medical care. Our intensive, holistic residential treatment model results in a depth of recovery that is transformational for residents, and fulfilling for our staff.