Pregnancy and Postpartum Support

 

For some women, the desire and sense of fulfillment that comes from being a mother can be great. For others, becoming pregnant can be a long and difficult process that can be filled with overwhelming feelings and experiences. If you are planning to start a family, are already pregnant, or have just given birth to your baby, chances are you have already experienced some form of pregnancy-related stress, anxiety, or depression. These issues can occur before, during, and after pregnancy, and can be difficult to manage alone. Therapy can provide you with a supportive, nonjudgmental environment to share your concerns and help you build the support system you need for you and your new addition. Therapy can also include assistance for your partner, who may also be experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression before and after your new arrival.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

(Also commonly known as postpartum depression and anxiety)

It is common for new parents to feel down, nervous, and anxious after the birth of their baby. This is commonly known as “the baby blues” and impacts up to 80% of new parents. With rest and support, these symptoms will lessen over time. However, approximately 20% of new moms will experience more persistent depression and/or anxiety. Partners can also experience depression and/or anxiety postpartum. These symptoms can be both serious and distressing and can get in the way of your daily life. It can be difficult to admit that you are having trouble, especially to your partner, family, and friends. Therapy can help you to manage postpartum depression and/or anxiety. If you feel that you need immediate care, call 911 or your local hospital. 

The onset of postpartum depression and/or anxiety can occur any time in the first year after the birth of a new baby. Oftentimes, parents don’t recognize that the symptoms they are experiencing are associated with depression and/or anxiety and can feel guilt, embarrassment, or like they are failing. Common symptoms of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can include: 

  • Sadness
  • Anger and Rage
  • Exhaustion
  • Nervousness or jitteriness
  • Feeling out of control
  • Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
  • Low motivation
  • Appetite changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns such as sleeping to much or having difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Fears or scary/intrusive thoughts that don’t go away
  • Feeling nervous about being alone with your baby

Resources:

Postpartum Support International

Mother to Baby 

San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Zoe Bella Birth Services