Are You A New Parent Experiencing Depression or Anxiety?
Have you recently had a baby, but now wonder how you are going to handle it or if you have made a big mistake? Maybe you miss the freedom you had before becoming a parent—not to mention the ability to sleep through the night.
Perhaps caring for a newborn is a lot harder than you thought, and you’re not sure if you can do it. You might even struggle to emotionally connect with your baby and worry that this makes you a bad mom. When every day begins with constant crying, more diapers than you ever imagined, and feeling unbelievably tired, you may be wondering if getting pregnant was a good idea in the first place.
You may feel like you’re losing your mind because your baby wakes up many times a night. Or maybe you can’t sleep because you’re worried that something will happen to your baby, and so you have to check on her frequently. Perhaps every kind of risk to your baby terrifies you so much that you can’t enjoy this phase of parenthood.
You may feel isolated and alone at home with the baby while your partner works, and your family isn’t nearby to help. Perhaps you long for the connection and support of other new moms but don’t have the energy to find them.
Do you wish you could be happy with new motherhood and still feel like yourself? Are you ready to reach out for help for the depression you’ve been feeling?
Postpartum Depression Affects Many New Mothers
You may feel emotionally out of whack right now, but you are far from alone in feeling this way after just having a baby—or even if your baby is a few months old at this point. Women who experienced depression before pregnancy are more at risk for postpartum depression.
Even if you don’t have that history, it’s still possible for you to become depressed after birth. Your body just went through something that is, quite plainly, traumatic. Your hormones are strong and powerful to help you develop a bond with your baby, but can also wreak havoc with your emotions and leave you feeling out of balance for months or longer. There is also a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and depression, and you are no doubt highly sleep deprived as you read this. It’s no wonder that you may feel overwhelmed and despondent right now.
Additionally, if you are a stay-at-home mom while your partner works during the day, it makes sense that having to do everything on your own can make you feel overwhelmed and depressed. You not only have a small human to care for, but also food to prepare, laundry to do, and maybe squeeze in a shower if you’re lucky. I remember not even having enough time to get a drink of water! And if you are a single mom, you are taking on the role of two parents all by yourself, which is especially challenging.
By definition, new motherhood isn’t easy. What you are feeling is completely normal. This period of time is hard for every woman, no matter how many children they’ve had. It’s easy to look at social media and compare yourself to all the “perfect” moms who seem to have it all together. But don’t be deceived by appearances—everyone struggles. Even men can have postpartum depression. Their lives have changed dramatically as well, and they may be struggling to adjust to the new normal.
If you find that it all becomes too much for you to handle, it’s quite all right to leave the baby in a safe place for a bit, like a crib, to take care of yourself. The strain of new motherhood can make you feel rage, or as if you want to hurt your baby, which is why leaving them in a crib for a few minutes is okay if you need to collect yourself.
Fortunately, with the help of a licensed postpartum depression therapist who has been where you are right now, you can learn how to feel like yourself again. As a new mother, your life has changed, but it isn’t over. With therapy, postpartum recovery is possible, and postnatal help is available for both parents.
Postpartum Depression Therapy Can Help You Feel Like Yourself Again
In our online counseling sessions, we will talk about the importance of having a support network. Even if your family lives far away, there are many ways to connect with other moms in your area without having to travel very far or leave your home at all.
With the right support, you can get through this challenging new life phase. I will provide a safe, nonjudgmental space for you to share your honest feelings. And I will not offer you platitudes like “sleep when the baby sleeps” or “you will miss this time when your child is grown up” because these notions are not true for everyone – they certainly didn’t help me.
Rather, through our session, I will help you to see that it is perfectly okay to take time for yourself when you can. And it’s also okay, and good for you, to leave the baby with someone you trust for a while as you get out of the house or take a nap, a shower, or do something else for yourself.
Depending on the situation, I may also recommend medication. The combination of medication and therapy is extremely helpful for a lot of people.
With postpartum depression therapy, you can feel affirmed in your chaotic emotions and learn to enjoy your new life. It is challenging, but it can be so rewarding as well. And at the same time as your baby grows and learns to sleep through the night, you can grow out of depression. Postpartum help can get you through it.
You May Have Some Concerns About Postpartum Depression Therapy…
I don’t have time for postpartum depression help with a newborn.
The most convenient part of my counseling practice is that it’s online, so you won’t have to leave your house. Our sessions will take place at your computer, tablet, or phone, right in the comfort of your home. I completely understand that as a new mom, you’re sleep-deprived, you may not want to leave your baby, and you probably haven’t had time to wash your hair in days and don’t want to risk being seen by anyone you know. You don’t need to lug your baby and all her supplies out in traffic or ruin her naps since you’ll be able to meet for your sessions at home!
I’m embarrassed that I just can’t achieve postpartum recovery on my own.
Many, many women feel this way after pregnancy. No one ever said motherhood was easy! But talking about it can be helpful. You will likely feel relieved by getting all those feelings off your chest.
Does having postpartum depression make me a bad mom?
Absolutely not! Your body goes through many changes during and after pregnancy, both physically and hormonally. It can take up to a year for your hormones to return to normal. Not to mention, babies don’t have the best track record for sleeping through the night in the beginning (or for the first few YEARS for that matter), and sleep deprivation—among other stresses that come with caring for a tiny human—can make anyone feel depressed. That doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby; you just need a little encouragement and support.
Call To Schedule Your Appointment With A Postpartum Depression Therapist
If you are ready to begin the road to postpartum recovery, I offer a free 15 to 20 minute consultation by phone or video conference to see if we would be a good fit for working together. You can reach me at (813) 296-8851 or through the contact page on my website.