Are you hoping to expand your family and running into challenges along the way? Are you expecting a child and experiencing anxiety and confusion? Are you struggling with feeling overwhelmed, sad, anxious or just not yourself following the birth of your child?
You are not alone! The journey to motherhood is one that can bring great joy and anticipation and with that often comes stress and uncertainty. In some cases, women may be diagnosed with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. In these cases, treatment is very effective. Please reach out for help today!
"Baby blues" refers to a common mood change that affects more than half of new mothers during the first couple weeks after birth. Symptoms include crying or weepiness for no apparent reason, impatience, irritability, mood swings, difficulty sleeping and feeling overwhelmed. For most, this is a normal transition and treatment is not needed unless the depression and anxiety are more severe or remain 2-3 weeks after giving birth.
Postpartum depression (PPD) refers to cases in which the mother continues to experience symptoms of depression 2-3 weeks after delivery. Symptoms of PPD may include insomnia, overwhelming fatigue, lack of joy, loss of appetite, severe mood swings, intense irritability and anger, difficulty bonding with your baby, withdrawal from family and friends, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. When left untreated, PPD may last for many months or longer.
In extremely rare cases, new mothers may experience postpartum psychosis (PPP), a condition that typically begins within the first two weeks after delivery. Symptoms of PPP may include confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
Birth trauma refers to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs after childbirth. Women who have experienced trauma during their birth experience do not necessarily need to meet the full clinical criteria for PTSD in order to benefit from treatment for birth trauma.
Features of birth trauma PTSD include:
- A response of intense fear, helplessness or horror to that experience.
- The persistent re-experiencing of the event by way of recurrent intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares. The individual will usually feel distressed, anxious or panicky when exposed to things which remind them of the event.
- Avoidance of anything that reminds them of the trauma. This can include talking about it, although sometimes women may go through a stage of talking about their traumatic experience often to the point they may obsess over it.
- Bad memories and the need to avoid any reminders of the trauma, will often result in difficulties with sleeping and concentrating. Sufferers may also feel angry, irritable and be hyper vigilant (feel jumpy or on their guard all the time).
Please seek help right away if your symptoms:
Don't fade after two weeks or are getting worse
Make it hard for you to care for your baby
Make it hard to complete everyday tasks
Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Individual, Couples and Birth Art Sessions are available by appointment.
We are here to help! Seeking treatment is the first step to feeling better.
Please call SageHeart Counseling at (773) 682-8518 for a free phone consultation and to schedule your first appointment.
In case of a life threatening situation, please reach out for immediate help. Call 911 or have a friend or family member safely bring you to your nearest Emergency Room.