Are You Struggling With Postpartum Depression?

Are you feeling overwhelmed or even a little out of control as you try to navigate life as a new parent? Do you often feel sad, disconnected from your baby or on edge? Are you struggling with guilt, beating yourself up for feeling so bad during a time people are expected to feel joy? Perhaps you are experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress as you transition into motherhood, especially if caring for a newborn is not what you expected it to be. Are you worried about whether you’ll be a good mom or dad? Do you feel stressed, hopeless and like you will never return to a “normal” routine again? Would you like some help and support as you adjust to parenthood?

 You Are Not Alone In Your Postpartum Depression

Many women who experience postpartum depression (PPD) have a history of anxiety or depression. But, PPD can affect anyone, no matter of age, race, health, socioeconomic status or family medical history. Up to 20 percent percent of new mothers report experiencing PPD, and once experienced, up to 41 percent of women may go through this depression again following the birth of another child.

PPD can cause a lot of worry and stress. You may find yourself worrying about anything and everything related to your baby: If he or she is breathing, if the door is locked, if his or her brain is developing properly…the list is endless.

For many women, the experience of childbirth can also evoke a sense of being out of control. Even the most organized and diligent new mom can’t prepare for the actual experience of holding the baby in her arms for the first time. (To be clear, PPD can also affect surrogate moms, gay or lesbian parents and adoptive parents as well.) Of course, it feels magical, but for many new parents, it also feels unfamiliar, overwhelming and just plain scary. Even if you have other children, each baby has a completely different personality with his or her own unique needs, demands and interests. You may have had easy births in the past, and not understand why things are so hard for you this time around.

 It’s hard to anticipate the isolation that can come with motherhood, especially in the early months. You might find yourself dreading the same old routine day in and day out and miss the spontaneity and excitement of having time for your own interests and hobbies. It may feel like you don’t have much to look forward to anymore. The feelings of isolation, sadness and guilt that often come with postpartum depression may be lead you down a path of endless online research looking for answers and validation anywhere you can find it. Mommy blogs, Facebook groups, online forums, "expert's" article, the list seems endless when looking for answers on how to make your infant go to sleep, stay asleep longer, assuring they're hitting developmental milestones, getting enough to eat, making enough wet diapers. The truth is, every baby, mother, and relationship is so different there is no blog post, advice from another mother, or expert's article that is a cookie cutter remedy. Potentially it can just lead you down a rabbit hole of self doubt and feeling worse then when you set out to seek this information. 

 Most of all, you could be feeling an overall sense of disconnection from your baby, and possibly your partner. It is very important to note that media depictions of PPD are almost always melodramatic representations of extreme cases. Most moms with PPD don’t want to hurt their babies. But, it is not unusual to have some uncomfortable and even scary thoughts from time to time. The important thing is to recognize that this is not your normal thinking pattern. It can be very difficult and embarrassing to admit these thoughts, but remember, you are not alone. With the help of a supportive and experienced therapist who specializes in postpartum depression, you can work through difficult thoughts and feelings and start being fully present with your family. 

 Postpartum Depression Treatment Can Help You Understand What Is Happening And Make Adjustments

 You might be surprised to learn that up to 20 percent of new moms suffer from PPD—and that’s just the women who report it. Society has perpetuated the idea that PPD is characterized by running away from or wanting to harm your children—but more often, it just feels like you are in a huge rut that you’ll never get out of.

 Postpartum depression treatment is a safe place for you to explore some of those uncomfortable, often negative feelings. You may not feel comfortable talking to friends and family about your thoughts. Let’s face it: when you have a new baby, it can feel like people expect you to be happy and joyful constantly. However, that’s not always reality. It’s okay to say you are having a hard time. In postpartum depression counseling, you can have your feelings normalized and validated. You can gain insight into what is happening in your brain and body that is causing you to feel the way you do.

 Postpartum depression treatment can help you start to feel like yourself again. You can learn to engage with and enjoy your child. You can take steps and apply tools that can help you truly embrace parenthood, whatever that means for you. You can take ownership in your experience instead of feeling confused and like something is wrong with you. You are not a victim of circumstance, and with acknowledgment and effort, you can own your situation and make it better. You don’t have to keep worrying and wondering when things will improve. You can start making some important, meaningful changes right now.

 You may think postpartum depression treatment could help, but still have some questions or concerns…

 I’ve heard that postpartum depression treatment is expensive.

 When you look back on this experience in 10 years, do you think you’ll remember how much you spent on counseling or that you got help when you did and were able to move on with your life? The chance to spend time with and truly enjoy your baby is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The better you feel, the more engaged you can be and the more you can enjoy this special time.  

 I don’t have thoughts about hurting my baby, so I can’t have PPD.

 Forget about what you know about PPD and all the accompanying labels. Instead, think about how you feel. If you think postpartum depression counseling can help you feel better, then it can’t possibly hurt to try.

 I’m not sure that I can make time for postpartum depression treatment.

One of the most common reasons clients give for not being able to come to counseling is that they don’t have time because of the baby. Totally understandable!

 To this I say, bring the baby—problem solved. I also do infant massage and bonding attachment instruction (which can help with gas and tummy issues, and you can practice these skills while you are in session). I’m also a certified lactation educator and have an arsenal of resources when it comes to breastfeeding. I have personal and professional experience working with hundreds of breastfeeding moms who have had every issue imaginable, from pumping to proper formula feeding and nutrition. If you need instruction, support or guidance with feeding strategies, I can help.

 Still have questions about postpartum depression treatment? Call for a free  consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific situation and answer any questions you have about my practice.