*Do I have Postpartum Depression?
- Are you feeling sad or depressed?
- Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
- Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
- Do you feel anxious or panicky?
- Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
- Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out
of your mind?
- Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
- Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
- Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?
If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you may be suffering from postpartum emotional complications. You don't have to remain in pain. Heightened anxiety during pregnancy or after birth or adoption is extremely common. Some women need extra emotional support in the form of a support group, others want individual assistance, and some benefit from both.
If you answered "yes" to the last question about hurting yourself or your baby and it's not just a thought that you know you would never act upon, please seek help immediately.
*Postpartum quiz courtesy of Postpartum Support International.
The Prenatal Period or (When you are pregnant or considering parenthood)-
Impending motherhood can bring up issues from your past, as well as heighten anxiety and remind you of prior losses. Maternal anxiety and depression occur in pregnancy as well as after the birth. Treatment at this stage will provide you with the support and tools that you will need for motherhood. If you had a postpartum mood disorder with a previous pregnancy or birth and you are pregnant again , this is the perfect time to get the extra support that you deserve. I can help you plan for a much smoother transition into motherhood this time.
Infertility, Miscarriage and Stillbirths
Pregnancy doesn't always proceed as expected. Unfortunately, not all women get pregnant easily and end up with a healthy baby 9 months later. Pregnancy loss and/or infertility can be one of the most devastating experiences a women can have. It challenges the very core of who she is. To make matters worse, people do not acknowledge her myriad losses and unwittingly say things that make matters worse, not better. Psychotherapy can be place where you get the support and validation that you need during this trying time.
The Postpartum Period (Birth to One Year and even beyond)
10 to 20% of all postnatal women experience full-blown postpartum mood disorders (PMADs) which include postpartum anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive, trauma and panic disorder. (85% of postpartum women experience transient symptoms known as the blues.) Unlike the blues, however, PMADs are infused with excruciating anxiety that gets worse, not better, after the first four to six weeks. Sometimes women have thoughts that scare them. Mothers (and families) cannot parent alone. The support and guidance provided by a therapist is often an invaluable part of any successful treatment plan that guides a woman back to feeling like herself again.
Postpartum Emotional Support Groups
Many new mothers who are adjusting to parenthood find the support of other new mothers invaluable. At least six postpartum emotional support groups exist in the Seattle area. For a list of groups, please visit http://www.ppmdsupport.com/supportgroups.html.