Maternal Mental Health
To be a parent or not. This is a huge question that many of us face as we move into adulthood.
We may have varying degrees of choice around this question. No matter what we decide, the path to or away from parenthood is rarely easy. Therapy can be a valuable support as we navigate these experiences.
In therapy for maternal mental health, we can work through:
Anxiety and depression in pregnancy
Postpartum depression and anxiety
Stillbirth and miscarriage
What do we know about reproductive and maternal mental health?
Research into reproductive mental health has expanded greatly in the last 10 years. Data now shows that roughly 1 in 5 new parents will struggle with anxiety and/or depression at some point during pregnancy and early parenting. Maybe you are dealing with fertility challenges. You had a traumatic birth experience. Or, you had a pregnancy loss. All of these are are also major challenges to our mental health. While many of these experiences are stigmatized, it is vital that you know you are not alone, and that there is help available.
Is it Postpartum Depression or Baby Blues?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is perhaps the most well-known mental health issue surrounding reproduction. Postpartum depression is different than the “baby blues”. And, it’s important to note the difference.
Baby blues are mood swings that result from hormone changes. These happen immediately postpartum and symptoms level off around 2 weeks after birth.
Postpartum Depression (PPD) is more severe and lasts much longer. The symptoms can range from feeling disconnected from your baby, to moments of intense rage to frequent tearfulness. Anxiety and depression also show up frequently in pregnancy. This is even harder to talk about, since most people are told they should be happier than they’ve ever been during this time in their lives. The truth is that many folks experience heightened worry. Sleeplessness. Intrusive thoughts (these are scary thoughts about terrible things happening to you or baby). And, feelings of panic. While these issues typically show up in the birthing individual, they can also appear in the non-birthing partner as well.
You are not alone. Your thoughts are very normal.
It’s so important to know that now matter where you are in this journey, you can get through it. If you are wanting to become a parent, are about to become one, or have recently become one, you are not alone. It is so common to feel isolated, in grief for your old life, and wondering how in the world you will navigate this new one. You might even be experiencing scary thoughts about dropping your baby or harming yourself*.
Postpartum mood disorders are common, and treatable.
It’s important that you know you are not alone in this. In fact, research shows that nearly 1 in 5 people experience a mood or anxiety disorder surrounding the pre and postpartum time. With help, you can begin to grow in confidence, happiness, and find the relief you deserve. A skilled mental health professional can help validate your fears and feelings, and help you begin to heal.
Miscarriage, or pregnancy and infant loss
Perhaps you want badly to be a parent but have experienced pregnancy loss or still birth, or you have suffered the grief of infertility. It’s important for you to know that help and support is not only available to you, but is something you deserve in this difficult time. A therapist can help you honor your grief, explore and process your feelings, and touch into your inner strength in the process.
Support during a pregnancy termination is key!
For some of us, we may not want to be parents, or have terminated a pregnancy because we did not want to be parents under certain circumstances. Research shows that the abortion procedure itself is not what traumatizes people. In fact, it is the lack of support and stigma around pregnancy termination that makes it traumatic. A therapist can offer you a space to process your feelings and experiences without judgement or an agenda. Everyone deserves a supportive, healing space for their reproductive decisions.
Therapy for Maternal Mental Health and Pregnancy, Postpartum Support and Miscarriage Counseling
If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out for help. We are ready to help you thrive in this strange and difficult season of life. You can find more information on perinatal mental health, including helpful self-screening tools at https://www.postpartum.net/.
Begin Therapy for Reproductive & Maternal Mental Health in Madison, WI
When you are ready to start therapy, we are here for you. We know that getting started with a new therapist can itself be a source of stress and worry, so we make it simple! Our Madison, WI-based therapists can even help you anywhere in the state with online therapy in Wisconsin. To get started, just follow these three steps:
Call our office at 608-571-0558 or e-mail us to make an appointment
Start your journey to a more joyful life today
More Mental Health Services at Golden Vibes Counseling Center
At our Madison, WI therapy clinic, we want you to feel comfortable. We know you are a multi-faceted person with a wide range of needs and concerns. That's why we have a lot of different ways to serve you. From therapy in our chic, contemporary counseling space to expert online counseling in Wisconsin, we are ready to meet you where you are. Our professional therapists can help you using a variety of approaches including CBT, EMDR, and Brainspotting. These methods can help with trauma therapy, sexual assault recovery, depression treatment, anxiety therapy, OCD treatment, multicultural counseling, and more. We also specialize in LGBTQAI+ counseling and poly-affirming therapies and can assist with gender-affirming care. We truly look forward to meeting you and getting to know you as an individual.