— Eleanor Roosevelt
Prenatal & Postpartum Counseling
- Are you feeling anxious about your pregnancy?
- Do you struggle to emotionally bond with your new baby?
- Have you felt overwhelmed or depressed because of the demands of a newborn?
Pregnancy is a time filled with so much anticipation and change. For many women, this can result in feelings of excitement, but also fear and worry. It is also a time of significant physical change to a women’s body and this transformative period is difficult to manage and navigate. Feeling such a variety of emotions during this time is not uncommon, and not at all unusual, but each stage of pregnancy can bring a new set of concerns, fears and worries that can, over time, result in significant anxiety, or depression.
While identifying and treating prenatal anxiety and depression is incredibly important, one of the greatest challenges of maternal mental health can also occur post pregnancy. This may be the result of many things including a traumatic childbirth experience, feeling overwhelmed with the care of a newborn, or difficulty bonding with a child. Postpartum anxiety (PPA), and postpartum depression (PPD), can be extremely serious if untreated and can occur at anytime post childbirth from as early as the first few days, weeks or even months later. In fact, according to Postpartum Support International, perinatal and postpartum mood disorders occur in approximately 1 in 7 women. Sadly, not all physicians screen for PPA or PPD and often identified symptoms are misinterpreted as signs of a depressive disorder.
Symptoms can include:
- Frequent episodes of crying.
- Feelings of anger and frustration.
- Isolation and withdrawal from support systems.
- Hostility towards your baby.
- Feeling guilt and doubting the ability to successfully care for the baby.
- Hypervigilance regarding safety and care of the baby.
- Obsessive and intrusive thoughts.
- Thoughts of harm towards self or your baby.
Prenatal and postpartum anxiety and depression are temporary and treatable with professional help. While it may be difficult to initially seek therapy, you can recover faster by seeking help sooner. Delaying or denying care for yourself risks an increase in severity of symptoms.