Women are more likely to experience emotional difficulties after the birth of a baby that at any other point in their lives.
You’re not alone. The good news is that prenatal and postpartum stress reactions are very responsive to treatment. Many women find relief with supportive professional care.
One out of seven women experience postpartum depression, the number one complication after giving birth to a baby.
Surprised at the range of challenging emotions you’re feeling during your pregnancy?
Pregnancy can be a time of joyful anticipation; it can also be rife with emotional ups and downs. For many, these feelings can become overwhelming. Symptoms of depression and anxiety, such as tiredness or changes in appetite and sleep, are often dismissed as “normal” symptoms of pregnancy.
Up to 20% of women experience some form of prenatal depression and/or anxiety, often expressed as:
- Excessive worrying
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Sleep and appetite disturbances
The good news is that treatment can contribute to the well being of the mother, baby and the entire family, as well as prevention of postpartum complications. Learn more about Mindfully Expecting: A Unique Pregnancy Group
Feel alone in your struggles adjusting to your new baby?
After having a baby, most new moms feel some degree of the “baby blues.” The stressors of pregnancy, the birthing process, the repetitive nature of caring for the baby, physical recovery, and sleep deprivation can amount to a vast, complicated emotional journey. For many, these symptoms don’t resolve on their own, and outside support is necessary.
After giving birth, you may experience:
- Excessive worrying and anxiety
- Poor concentration and difficulty making decisions
- Excessive guilt and feeling inadequate as a mother
- Tearfulness and irritability
- Intrusive and repetitive thoughts
- Sleep and appetite disturbances
Postpartum stress can lead to postpartum depression, as well as other complications.
Without support, many women and families struggle for a long time, which can have a profound effect on the entire family and the development of the children. Early intervention will benefit the entire family and prevent problems in later years.
Marital and Couples’ Stress
More than 50% of marriages in California end in divorce. The most critical period in determining the success or failure of a marriage is the first three years following the birth of the first child.
Studies clearly demonstrate that intervention and support during this time are effective in increasing the number of healthy families while decreasing the number of divorces and broken families.
When to get help:
It may be time to get help when:
- Your symptoms are affecting your relationship with your baby and family
- Your current support system is not enough to help you feel relief
- You’re noticing that your symptoms are getting worse and not improving
How to get help:
Contact your doctor’s office, call a therapist or talk to a trusted loved one. A comprehensive treatment may include:
- Medical evaluation
- Psychotherapy or counseling
- Social support and education
- Medication (if needed)
- Consideration of alternative medicine, such as homeopathy.
Consultation and Assessment
A brief phone assessment in which you can examine your feelings is a good way to take action. You may then decide to meet for a consultation visit to get a better sense of your symptoms, and the solutions available to you.
Individual and Couples Therapy
Psychotherapy creates a safe environment where you can learn to get relief from your symptoms, as well as understand and grow from the root causes of your struggles.
Group therapy is a vital and cost effective part of recovery and adjustment during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Ongoing pregnancy and postpartum support groups are available.
Learn more about Pregnancy and Postpartum Wellness Support Group
Education and Consultation
Consultation and training available for professionals supporting women and families during pregnancy and postpartum.