Let’s face it, being a mom is really hard. Whether you’re a new mom in the early postpartum period or have been at it a while, you may feel anxious, sad, or overwhelmed at any point in this journey called motherhood.
Upset feelings in the postpartum period can come as a real surprise.
While we may have educated ourselves about postpartum depression during our pregnancy, we may nonetheless have imagined that we would be happy at this time and feel blindsided by the anxiety or depression we experience when the baby arrives. We find that the job of raising a newborn is difficult in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
At Life Counseling Institute, we have taken a special interest in helping young moms navigate the difficult waters of the postpartum period. We can help with postpartum depression and its surprisingly MORE common cousin, postpartum anxiety. Did anyone bother to tell you how common postpartum anxiety is?
Did you know that anxiety in the postpartum period is actually more common than depression? If you’ve been wondering why you’re struggling with feeling anxious a lot, you’re not alone. Counseling can help with
- Worry, general sense of anxiety
- Preoccupation with the health of the baby
- Postpartum OCD, including scary thoughts, such as fears of harming the baby
- Obsessing about breastfeeding
- Worries about not bonding
- Difficulty leaving the baby in the care of others
- Difficulty getting a break for yourself
No one tells us that the joy we expected to feel after having a baby sometimes fails to materialize. Instead we can feel sad, exhausted, guilty, and inadequate. We might yearn for the life we had before children, or be upset to even think that. If your mood is down, it’s honestly no wonder, so difficult is the job of being a mom.
Counseling can help you feel like yourself again. You might have to shed a few tears and grieve a few losses, but we can help you learn to love your new life, improve your mood, and find joy again. We can help you with
- Conflicted feelings about being a mom
- Feeling exhausted, depleted, inadequate, or resentful
- Sadness, difficulty experiencing pleasure
- Excessive guilt
- Anger at your spouse
- Scary thoughts
Several of our therapists have expertise in working with postpartum issues, including Dana Donahue, who has received advanced training through Postpartum Support International.
Later Years: Parenting Stress Adds Up
The moms that we see frequently ask, “Am I the only one who thinks this job is really hard?” “Why do other moms seem to be so perfect/put together?” “How can I find time for myself and still take care of my family?”
We can help you to:
- Accept yourself for being a less-than-perfect mom
- Learn to care not just for your children, but for their primary caregiver as well (yes, that would be you!)
- Develop a stronger self-identity
- Find better balance for yourself and your family
Pregnant with your first child? Wondering how this might go? It’s normal to be scared. Especially if you have a history of depression or anxiety, it’s a good idea to get help before baby comes to know what to anticipate and to develop a plan for how to cope. We can work with you and your partner to know signs to look out for, gain coping strategies, develop plans for supporting one another, and finding resources for getting the help you’ll want to have. It will be time well spent!
When our practice began, we were located within the offices of West Suburban Woman’s Health (wswomenshealth.com). Our practice has grown greatly and we have since moved into a larger space right next door. We still work closely with the providers at WSWH to coordinate comprehensive care for their patients.
The experience of infertility, miscarriage, or secondary infertility can be enormously isolating. You’re not sure who to tell or whether your feelings are normal, and thus these experiences can be uniquely scary and painful. You may be navigating a sea of medications, doctor visits, and medical procedures, all while feeling scared, sad, and alone. Your relationship with your spouse may be strained. We can help you
- Cope with stress and uncertainty
- Develop resiliency
- Grieve losses
- Strengthen your relationship and
- Find support and meaning in your experience