POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION TREATMENT
Are you feeling shame or guilt that you aren’t feeling like you “should” after pregnancy?
Struggling to “keep it all together” to cover your sadness, irritability or mood changes?
Maybe you are missing your old life before baby
This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life…why am I so miserable?
If any of these ring true for you, you are certainly not alone. These feelings and thoughts aren’t what you expected to have when you bring your baby home. Moms, especially new moms, may be very surprised to feel sadness, have crying episodes and be plagued with chronic worry shortly after having a baby. Some women can experience emotional numbness, apathy, and/or ambivalence about being a new mom.
ISN'T IT JUST THE BABY BLUES?
This is one of the most popular questions I have been asked in my practice. Baby Blues is extremely common, so much so that up to 80 percent of mothers experience the baby blues. The primary difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression is the onset and duration of symptoms. Symptoms of the baby blues peaks between 3-5 days after delivery and usually resolves within 2 weeks postpartum. Unlike the Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression (PPD) can surface any time within the first year postpartum and lasts more than several weeks. Common Symptoms of the baby blues: feeling very happy and then sad, crying with no apparent reason, sudden mood swings, anxiety, loss of appetite, irritability,
Approximately 1 in 7 women experience major/minor depression following childbirth. Symptoms can occur within several days of delivery up to even 1 year postpartum. The abrupt change in hormones (estrogen and progesterone return back to normal levels within 24 hours after delivery) is thought to be a key contributing factor to the development of postpartum depression among other risk factors. Primary risk factors for postpartum depression include: history of sensitivity to hormonal birth control, prenatal depression or anxiety, personal or family history of anxiety or depression, traumatic birth, lack of social support,
SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:
Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason
Feeling worried or overly anxious
Moodiness, restlessness, or irritability
Lack of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Anger or rage
Persistent doubt about your ability to care for your baby
Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Physical aches and pains
Changes in appetite
Lack of sleep or oversleeping
Withdrawing from others
HOW I HELP
I utilize a number of science-backed modalities for treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). CBT will help you to identify negative thought patterns and then actively replace those thoughts with more positive behaviors. ACT can help you sit with your present thoughts and/or feelings without judgment or avoidance. These techniques can help bring calm to a period of intense change and focus to your maternal mental health.
IS MEDICATION RIGHT FOR ME?
It very well could be! Counseling has proven to be incredibly effective in treating postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. However, if you find that your symptoms are not decreasing in frequency or intensity, I would encourage you (and will gladly help facilitate) a meeting with a physician (an OBGYN, primary care physician or psychiatrist) who is experienced in perinatal mental health. With your written permission, I will collaborate with any existing physicians or new providers, as we all serve as important members of your care team!
BUT YOU MAY STILL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT PREGNANCY ANXIETY THERAPY...
I don’t think I need therapy because these feelings will pass on their own.
In some cases, the emotional highs and lows can subside on their own. However, treatment with a trained professional gives you the opportunity to feel better sooner. You can also take the skills you acquire in session and use them for future challenges in your life.
I don’t have a budget for therapy.
I do accept United, Cigna, and Aetna insurance plans. If you have another provider, please check to see to what extent they may cover out-of-network therapy. For those not covered by insurance, or without it, I also accept self-pay. Maternal mental health is one aspect of pregnancy that is easy to ignore but that is so crucial to the foundation-building of a mother or parent partner. Making an investment to care for your mental health can benefit everyone in your home.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please know that you are not alone, and your symptoms are treatable. You do not have to continue to feel the way you do, and talking with a perinatal mental health trained therapist can help.
Interested in Postpartum Depression Treatment?
If so, please contact me for a free consultation. My office is physically in Winter Park, Florida (Orlando) I am licensed to provide online counseling services to anyone who resides in the state of Florida.
Your maternal mental health matters. Please reach out soon.
More About Sarah Courech, LMHC PMH-C
Sarah is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Perinatal Mental
Health Professional and Owner of Moms in Mind Perinatal Counseling. She has expertise in treating mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Sarah helps new mothers cope with the transition to motherhood and successfully work through challenges that may arise during the early years. As a maternal mental health advocate and mother herself, Sarah understands the specific challenges women may experience during this life stage. Sarah proudly serves on the Board of The Tough Tough Fund, is a member of Central Florida Postpartum Alliance, Postpartum Support International, and the Mental Health Association of Central Florida