Postpartum Depression is one of the most common complication of childbirth and is experienced by 10-15% of mothers in the postpartum. Symptoms include feelings of anger, sadness, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, changes in eating and sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or herself. Postpartum Anxiety Disorders are also very commonly experienced and include extreme worries and fears, often over the health and safety of the baby. Some women have panic attacks and might feel shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, a feeling of losing control, and numbness and tingling. Mothers also experience Postpartum OCD which involves repetitive, upsetting and unwanted thoughts or mental images (obsessions), and sometimes they need to do certain things over and over (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts. These moms find these thoughts very scary and unusual and are very unlikely to ever act on them. These are all treatable disorders and psychotherapy can be one of the most important aspects of treatment. Standards of care also include pharmacotherapy. Please speak o your family doctor about medications that may be helpful or request a referral to a psychiatrist with expertise in the area of maternal mental health.
Pregnancy is often regarded with excitement, but no matter how eagerly a child's birth is anticipated, stress and other forms of emotional distress can still occur during the challenging period of pregnancy. Pregnancy issues may be mild or serious, but they can affect the mental health of the mother, put a strain on a romantic partnership, and lead to life changes, both predicted and unpredictable.
When concerns that arise during pregnancy or after birth cause distress or otherwise affect one's mental health, the support of a therapist can be beneficial during this time.
"Trauma is in the eyes of the beholder". Most mothers have expectations of their birth experience and no matter how much they plan for that big day, things can turn out very differently than expected. Many people experience their births as traumatic but often do not recognize that how they are feeling in the postpartum are often the result of that trauma e.g. depression, lack of bond with baby, high anxiety, flashbacks to their birth, physical pain. Therapy can help make those memories less powerful and can help you develop a more positive association with your birth and build a strong attachment with your child.
It may feel like nobody understands your loss. Perhaps not even your partner really understands, because they’re grieving in their own way. It hurts. Likely, it hurts more than anything you have ever experienced. Life doesn’t seem fair right now.
Therapy can be a safe space to share your grief, to express all of your emotions. To heal, but not forget.
I offer clinical supervision to new clinicans just starting out in private practice, or experienced therapists who are seeking to gain more expertise in the area of perinatal mental health.
I prefer a collaborative approach to help other professionals grow in their practices. Sessions may involve discussions about challenging cases, continuing education re: specific reproductive mental health topics, resource sharing, ethical dilemas and, when requested, support re: the "business" aspects of having a private practice.
Please email me to discuss this option and booking an appointment.