Maternal Mental Health

Are you a new mom who is struggling with “life with the baby?”

Becoming a mom is supposed to be one of the most exciting and hopeful times in a woman’s life, but many women struggle during and after pregnancy. If you are finding the adjustment to pregnancy or motherhood to be difficult, you are not alone and help is available!

Perhaps you always knew that you wanted children. Maybe you came from a large family yourself or maybe you are an only child and from a young age you dreamed of experiencing the fun and togetherness of the big families that you saw on television shows while growing up. You laid out your life plan and becoming pregnant has fallen right into your timeline. You have spent months looking through magazines with photos depicting dreamy images of motherhood. You’ve spent time carefully picking out decorations and all the gear for the nursery and you have spent countless hours reading all the books to best prepare yourself for what everyone says is the most important and most rewarding job you will ever experience. But perhaps you started to experience feeling down along the way. Maybe you noticed it when you began to feel physically uncomfortable during the later part of your pregnancy. Or perhaps now that you have had your baby and your partner has returned to work,  you are home alone, running on limited sleep, feeling increasingly isolated and you’ve noticed that you’re sad, maybe even angry, and it just does not feel quite right. 

Or perhaps you’re at the peak of your career and although having a baby has been a loose part of your plan, the timing happened differently than you expected. You have always been on top of your game, maybe others in your life have even said that you’re a perfectionist who does everything just right. But now that you’re facing the reality of becoming a mother you are noticing that the perfectionism is turning to panic. The problems that you’ve always been able to solve now feel like a multitude of “what if’s?” that you just can’t seem to answer and you’re wondering, “What if I’m not a good enough mom?”, “What if I cannot go back to the career that I love?”, “What if I feel tied down?”

Maybe you have had a difficult time connecting to the notion of becoming a mom from the moment you first found out that you were pregnant. Perhaps your own parents were never there for you and you have struggled with relationships. Or you have experienced other difficulties in your life that have caused a significant negative impact on your self esteem. Or maybe you’re facing motherhood and parenting alone and it just feels impossible. Maybe others have hurt you and you are seriously questioning “Will I even know how to take care of a baby, let alone be a mom?”

Or maybe your baby is not a newborn anymore and even though you cannot imagine saying it out loud, the excitement feels like it has worn off. You used to feel like you had your own identity. You had a robust social life and you went on dates with your partner, but now you feel like your only purpose is to fill every need that your child has. You're exhausted and increasingly irritable and as much as you hate to admit it, you feel resentful. You have lost who you are and you feel desperate to reclaim your old life.

Most women experience some changes in their mood and emotions during pregnancy and during the year after delivery. Sometimes these changes can be experienced as situational and may last for only a few weeks and resolve with natural supports. However, it also common for these difficulties to be experienced as something more.

A few of the more common difficulties that our clinical perinatal specialists work with include perinatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For more specific information about each, please click the links.

If you have had painful, even traumatic life experiences, or if you are suffering with depression or anxiety, it may be interfering with the development of a secure relationship between you and your baby. If you want help with resolving the trauma from your past, support with the development of a secure attachment relationship with your young child, or help with understanding your young child’s big feelings, we can help you.

As clinicians who have spent several years working directly with expectant and new moms and babies, we believe all moms, babies and families deserve to be happy. Yet up to 1 in 5 women face pregnancy-related or postpartum depression, anxiety or other maternal mental health disorders — and it can affect the entire family. An emotionally healthy mom is better able to establish a strong relationship with her baby, which fosters healthy infant development and family bonds.

The relationship-based nurturing and supportive clinical therapy that we offer to women in the perinatal and postpartum period aims to support the growth of healthy attachment relationships in early infancy, reducing the risk of delays or disorders and enhancing enduring strengths. There is hope! We can help you shift from feeling like you're barely just surviving motherhood to feeling confident and thriving in motherhood! If you're ready for help, contact us to be connected with one of our Maternal Mental Health specialists!

For Additional Immediate Help Contact Postpartum Support International