What to expect: The perinatal period spans from desire to conceive, through pregnancy, and the first year postpartum. Therapy during this time is recommended from the time parents decide they want to start (or expand) their family, or whenever symptoms appear (see below for a list of common symptoms of some Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders). Typically, therapy would persist during the entire pregnancy, and the first year after the birth of baby. This is done to ensure that both parents are supported in all steps of parenthood. Both partners are encouraged – but not required – to participate in perinatal therapy.
For new parents, it can be upsetting and even frightening to have feelings about parenthood that don’t seem “right.” Some common thoughts include: “I wish I didn’t have this baby,” “I don’t have what it takes to be a mom/dad,” “I miss my old child-free life” usually followed by feelings of guilt over having these thoughts.
Did you know? 1 in 7 moms and 1 in 10 dads struggle with some sort of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder?
For some parents, a morning run, a healthy diet and receiving help and support from family and friends are sufficient enough to get through the initial adjustment period. However, if symptoms persist or increase past the 2-week normal baby blues period, working with a therapist who specializes in dealing with perinatal issues can be a much needed relief.
Common postpartum symptoms include, but not limited to:
- Feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you should have become a parent in the first place
- Feeling guilty due to high self-expectations
- Not feeling “bonded” with the baby
- Your thoughts are racing and you can’t quiet your mind
- Feeling empty and numb as if you’re just going through the motions
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Being afraid that if you reach out for help, others will judge your inabilities
- Thoughts of running away or leaving your baby behind
- Being constantly in a state of worry
- Difficulty sleeping due to racing thoughts
If one or more of the above symptoms resonates with you, I invite you to contact us today for a free phone consultation to see which of our services would best suit your needs. Contact me today to see how I can help.