Prenatal & Postpartum Therapy

Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Did you know that anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders during pregnancy and the first year after giving birth affect up to 1 in 5 new or expectant mothers and their families? In other words, if you stumbled across my website because you are struggling, please know you are not alone.  These illnesses – also known as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, or PMADs — are the #1 complication of pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Assumptions About Pregnancy

Did you have assumptions about pregnancy only to be left disappointed? You hear people talk about “skin glowing” and lovely baby bumps and little baby kicks but they fail to mention all the hardships that come along with pregnancy. You feel like you “should” be happy all the time during your pregnancy because you are so blessed to be pregnant, but the reality is you are allowed to be grateful AND struggle through the process.  If you are caught off guard and unsure how to process your feelings, I am here to help support you through this.

 

Maybe parenthood is looking different than you ever imagined. You thought you would be able to handle this huge life transition because it seems so easy to everyone else on social media. Or maybe you thought you'd have more support than you do and find yourself struggling and resentful. No matter what the reason is, you deserve to get the support you need and it is possible for you to feel like yourself again.

Preparing for the Reality

 

The truth is, no one really prepares you for the realities of parenthood, the hardships, the tears (from both your baby and from yourself), the anxious thoughts, the fears, the unknown, sitting up all night researching what to do when you know you should be “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” I want you to know that I understand the stress you are going through and I can help you feel happier, calmer, and more confident during this difficult time.

 

They say it takes a village so call me today to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can become part of your village.

If you think you may be suffering with a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, click here for a screening tool.

Graphic describing what Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders are
Graphic with details about the perinatal period

Difference Between "Baby Blues" & Postpartum Depression

You’ve probably heard of the term “baby blues” and maybe even be accused of having the baby blues and not really depression. Here are some differences:

 

Baby Blues:
  • Affects 60-80% of new mothers universally

  • Due to hormone fluctuation at the time of birth and acute sleep deprivation

  • Lasts between 2 days to 2 weeks after birth

  • Usually peaks 3-5 days after delivery

  • Symptoms: tearfulness, lability, reactivity, exhaustion

  • Predominantly happy, self-esteem remains unchanged

  • Unrelated to stress or prior psychiatric history

 

Depression:
  • Frequent crying

  • Feeling exhausted

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Feeling shame or guilt

  • Thoughts to harm yourself or your baby

  • Anxiety and/or panic

  • Mood swings, anger

  • Appetite change

  • Last beyond 2weeks past delivery

 

Whether you are experiencing “baby blues” or postpartum depression, there is hope. You will get better.
What Postpartum Depression or Anxiety Might Look Like

 

You might find yourself more overwhelmed and saying things to yourself like “I can’t cope with this.” Or maybe you are feeling a lack of connection to your baby and an inability to take care of yourself. You find yourself saying “this doesn’t feel like me.” You’re agitated and more easily irritable and have more headaches and GI symptoms. If you can relate to any of the above, you may be struggling with postpartum depression and/or anxiety

 

What is Prenatal or Postpartum Anxiety?

 

Some women also experience symptoms of anxiety or even obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). 

Symptoms of anxiety:
  • Excessive worry (often about baby’s health)

  • Difficulty controlling worry

  • Agitation/irritability

  • Restlessness, feeling on edge

  • Poor concentration

  • Panic attacks

  • Trouble sleeping

Symptoms of OCD:
  • Intrusive/repetitive thoughts often about harm coming to baby

  • “What if” thinking

  • Thoughts cause distress and are unwanted

  • Engaging in behaviors to avoid harm or minimize triggers

What You Can Do To Help

If you are struggling with any of the above, there is support out there for you. You deserve to feel better and it is possible to feel like yourself again. The sooner you reach out for help, the quicker you will feel better.

 

Reach out today to schedule a free phone consultation to see if I would be a good fit to help you through this pivotal time in your life.
Resources For Prenatal and Postpartum Help:
Postpartum Support International
Blog post: "PMADs 101"
Blog Post: "Postpartum Depression Symptoms"
Graphic stating "if you experience symptoms of a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder that does not make you a bad mom"
graphic with quote stating "successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones who never give up despite the struggle."