Postpartum Depression: How Can Therapy Help?
Did you just give birth and are feeling disconnected, sad and overwhelmed?
All of these feelings can be normal as you adjust to motherhood and meeting your baby’s needs, however, if these feelings last longer than a few weeks and become more severe you may be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.
What is postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that affects women after they give birth. The symptoms of depression can begin in pregnancy and persist for months after giving birth. Most women will experience baby blues or mood swings due to hormonal shifts after giving birth. While the baby blues generally last for a few weeks, postpartum depression can last for much longer and be more serious.
Signs of Postpartum Depression
- Frequent mood swings
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Frequent crying
- Outbursts of anger and frustration
- Changes in appetite
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Not feeling bonded to baby
- Feeling anxious around baby
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
When to reach out for help
- You are experiencing several of the symptoms above
- The symptoms last more than two weeks
- Your symptoms are getting worse
- You are having trouble caring for yourself and/or your baby
- If you just want to talk about all of these changes
How can therapy help?
The first few weeks of motherhood are such a beautiful time, you are getting to know your little one and they are getting to know you which can also come with its challenges. You aren’t sleeping regularly, you may feel like there is no time for you, your relationship with your partner has changed and your hormones are messing with your emotions. Support during this vulnerable time is crucial. Therapy can help you feel supported and let your feelings out in a safe, nonjudgmental space. Many women feel embarrassed they are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression and think others will judge them or think they are a bad mom. I want you to know that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you are not alone. It is estimated that 1 out of 7 women experience postpartum depression. While the symptoms of postpartum depression can be serious, they are treatable and with help you can get back to being yourself and enjoy life with your new little one.
Remember, YOU are the best parent for your baby and deserve to feel your best. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are struggling with any of the symptoms listed above. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I want to help you reach it so you can feel confident in your abilities as a parent.
Caring for a new baby can be hard enough and getting help should not add to that stress so please know that you have options. Virtual sessions, bringing baby along to the appointment or phone sessions can be accommodated if you are unable to get childcare.
Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?
Claire Whetter MS, LPC-IT, NCC
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