Maternal Mental Health
Being a mom is one of the hardest things a woman can ever do.
Even trying to be a mom can involve years of physical and emotional labor that leaves a lasting impact on us and our relationships long after that piece of the path has ended.
We work with women in all stages of their journey toward and through motherhood.
Infertility, Miscarriage, and Pregnancy Loss
There are few things in life more heartbreaking than being a mother in your heart without a baby in your arms. If one more person tells you to relax, or assures you that everything happens for a reason, you will scream. Nothing is okay right now, and you don’t see how it ever could be okay.
Whether you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive, or you have gotten pregnant but have yet to bring a baby home, the toll it can take on you is tremendous. While nothing can, or should, take away the pain and disappointment you’re currently feeling, know that you do not have to feel like this forever.
Therapy can help with many of the things you may currently be experiencing:
- Sleep disturbances
- Relationship tension
- Social isolation
- Feeling numb
- Obsessive thoughts
You’re going through an extremely difficult time, likely without as much support as you need because partners, friends, and families don’t know the right things to say or do.
You don’t have to walk this alone. You don’t have to stay stuck here.
You can heal, and your heart can be full again.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders
This is supposed to be a blissfully joyful time.
You’ve read the books and get weekly emails updating you on what is happening with the baby growing inside you. Everyone you come in contact with tells you how great you look, how exciting this is, and slips in a few bits of advice about nursing, swaddles, sleep, motor milestones, etc. And then baby arrives and your friends and family can’t wait to come visit to meet them.
But you’re not feeling glowy and blissful.
Your mind is racing with terrible thoughts and what ifs. You feel angry and on edge. You burst into tears for what seems like no reason. You wonder if this is all a mistake. Are you even meant to be a mom?
You’re sure not enjoying it like everyone else seems to. Shouldn’t you feel more attached to your baby? Sometimes you even resent her for how she’s changed your life. You need someone to talk to, but how could you possibly admit these things to anyone?
These are all feelings women with perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) experience.
They can begin during pregnancy or start up to a year after delivery. It is currently estimated that 15-20% of moms will experience some type of PMAD, though that estimate is likely low due to women being reluctant to come forward with their struggles.
Many different things can put you at an increased risk of developing a PMAD, but no one is immune to the risk and there is absolutely nothing you did to cause this.
You are not a bad person. You are not a bad mom.
You just need help to deal with this major life change.
Therapy can help you out of the dark thoughts, learn to care for yourself during such a physically and emotionally demanding time, and start to enjoy your new life as a mom.
You can heal, and motherhood can be joyful.
Adjustment to Parenthood
No matter how you came to be a mom, it’s a tough job!
Certain times are more difficult than others, and the hard times can stir up lots of feelings and old issues.
While there are many books on parenting, none are written specifically for you: your personality, communication style, social support, upbringing, and personal challenges. Therefore, you could read every book ever written and still come up short on figuring out just how to do this whole parenting thing.
This is where therapy can help.
To be present and emotionally available for your child, you need to be present and emotionally available for yourself.
And this is impossible to do when past traumas, relationships, and experiences are being stirred up by your child and influencing your parenting.
Common things that moms may struggle with related to parenting include:
- Managing frustration and anger
- Feeling like you’ve lost your sense of self
- Maintaining your marriage/partnership
- Feeling isolated or overwhelmed
- Issues related to your own childhood and current relationship with family
- Balancing demands on your time
- Feelings of guilt
- Uncertainty about having more children
- Difficulty cultivating and maintaining friendships
Motherhood requires you to draw on every resource you have.
When you are depleted or unsure, it negatively impacts your relationship with your child, making parenting even harder and thus starting a vicious cycle that can leave you feeling depleted, guilty, and stuck.
Therapy can help you build up your available resources, learn how to get the additional help you may need, and develop the skills you need to enjoy positive interactions with your children and family.
You can heal, and your family can be whole.
Please give us a call today or use the contact form below to send an email. We are ready to help.