From pregnancy to parenting, I can help
Pregnancy and parenting bring unique mental health needs
Pregnancy may be one of the most emotionally vulnerable times for a woman, and for couples. In her book, The Female Brain, Dr. Louann Brizendine describes her feelings about pregnancy: "Long after my pregnancy, I'm still living and breathing for two--glued to my child, body and soul, by an attachment stronger than I ever thought possible. I'm a different woman since my child was born; and as a doctor, I appreciate why. Motherhood changes you because it literally alters a woman's brain--structurally, functionally, and in many ways, irreversibly (p. 181)." Brizendine also notes that postpartum issues can range from "maternity blues to psychosis, but the most common is postpartum depression, (p. 181)."
The National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health (NCMMH)notes that 1 out of 7 women experience pregnancy related depression and anxiety. The NCMMH also points out that 10% of partners also suffer from depression in the first year postpartum, especially younger fathers between ages 25-34.
Problems associated with emotional struggles as a new parent:
- difficulty bonding with the baby
- increased irritability and anger
- hyper vigilance and increased anxiety
- obsessive compulsive behaviors
- problems eating or sleeping
- worrying that you should not have become a parent
- fears about hurting your baby or yourself
therapy can help
I provide therapy aimed at supporting pregnant women and their partners, both during pregnancy and beyond, either as individuals or as a couple. Pregnancy and new parenting can be one of the most emotionally trying times in a person's life. I work with individuals aiming to bolster their mental health during this time, or couples wishing to receive counseling. Therapy can help couples to become better partners to each other as well as better parents.
Becoming a parent can involve emotional fluctuations that alternate between emotional highs like joy, to feelings of isolation and anxiety. You don't have to suffer, and your baby will also reap the benefits of your emotional health. Early intervention is essential as perinatal anxiety and depression are associated with negative outcomes like:
- behavioral problems
- low birth weight
- impaired cognitive development
- emotional maladjustment (Sokol, Emmerson, & Barber, 2014)