You recently gave birth to a new baby and you can’t stop crying. Being a new mom is not what you expected. Everything has changed and you are having a hard time adjusting to motherhood. You do not feel like yourself. Situations that you use to handle are now overwhelming and things continue to pile up. You are so tired but when you try and sleep you can’t. You want to feel better, but life seems out of balance and you feel hopeless. You need help getting back on track and sorting through what is contributing to your low mood, anxious thoughts, or troubled sleep.
You are not alone! Around 80% of women experience a change in their mental health in the first year after giving birth. Some may even experience a change while they are pregnant. There are many factors that influence our emotions. Sometimes it is just a bad day or there may be a prior trauma that comes up during this adjustment time. Whatever the struggle is, I provide support, information, and treatment for women during this sensitive time.
I provide assessment and treatment of perinatal mood disorders including anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD and psychosis. I work with women who have experienced infant or pregnancy loss or who are experiencing symptoms from a negative birth experience.
What are Perinatal mood disorders:
Perinatal mood disorders occur during pregnancy or during the first year after giving birth. Sometimes referred to as the “baby blues” the majority of moms and dads experience emotional and hormonal changes during pregnancy and after giving birth. Some women experience depression or anxiety. Women who had trauma in their birth experience can have symptoms of PTSD following their birth. OCD can arise in women postpartum as they try to find ways to manage their feelings of being overwhelmed when attending to a baby.
It is important to remember that every mom is different. Some may experience a combination of these symptoms while others may just experience one.
- Excessive crying
- Low mood
- Quick mood changes
- Difficulty bonding with baby
- Upsetting thoughts you can’t get out of your mind
- Trouble eating or sleeping
- Fear of being left alone
- Racing thoughts
- Feelings of shame, guilt and hopelessness
Some thoughts from women experiencing postpartum problems:
I am a bad mom
I feel like running away
I just don’t feel like me
I feel like I am going crazy
I sometimes have thoughts of hurting myself or my baby
I think something is wrong but I don’t know how to help her
I never know what to expect when I get home
Will she ever be the same?
Everything feels different.
Positive Birth Experience work:
In 2009 I became a certified birthing instructor and taught birthing classes for 5 years. I had the opportunity to work with couples during their pregnancy to prepare for birth and during the postpartum period to help transition into parenthood. I attended several births as a labor support person. I combine my experience as a certified birthing instructor and as a perinatal clinician to help mothers prepare for future births mentally and emotionally.
Common topics during sessions:
Pain management strategies
Anxiety around upcoming birth
Psychoeducation about other providers in the community