We understand the issues that women face during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the many years that follow caring for your child and family. The experience of having a baby is confusing – one moment exciting, joyful, and full of heart bursting love and in the next moment feeling fearful, anxious, worried, sad, or even, sometimes, mad. Having a child is one of the biggest transitions a person can experience during their lives. Whether you are still pregnant, have gone through childbirth, or have had the experience of losing a baby due to miscarriage we can help.
We provide counseling for the transition into motherhood, postpartum depression and anxiety, and couples therapy for parents to be and new parents.
If you are still pregnant you may have thoughts like “is my partner still attracted to me?”, “will my baby be healthy”, “am I doing everything right?”, “will my career or finances be impacted?”, “when the hell will this morning sickness go away!” , or “will I be safe during childbirth?”. These, among many other thoughts, are very common. We can help you to process these thoughts, plan for your future, and feel more at ease going into motherhood.
After childbirth, you might be struggling with memories of a disappointing or traumatic birth experience, difficulty breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, relationship changes with your partner, difficulty bonding with the baby, worries and anxieties about the safety of the child, and the stress of going back to work or choosing to stay at home.
If you feel depressed in the days following birth, you might have “baby blues“. Baby blues are a common occurrence and a normal part of your body managing new motherhood and hormonal changes. However, if these feelings persist for more than 2-3 days you should seek professional help to find relief from these feelings. Baby blues usually go away on their own, however if they do not it could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.
Even if you are not experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety, motherhood is stressful and therapy can still be beneficial. Women are tasked with caring for a brand new being while also still managing their intimate partnerships, friendships, and jobs or homes (see this little cartoon or this one for some relatable stuff!). Therapy can help you figure out how to prioritize, reduce stress, and live a more fulfilling and manageable life.
Signs of Postpartum Depression (from the Mayo Clinic)
- Excessive Crying
- Difficulty Bonding
- Changes in sleep patterns, sleep deprivation
- Withdrawing from friends or family
- Changes in eating patterns
- Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Intense irritability and anger
- Fear that you’re not a good mother
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
- Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Signs of Postpartum Anxiety
- Constant worry
- Physical pains unexplained by a medical issue
- Feeling like something bad is going to happen
- Sleep and eating changes
- Difficulty sitting still
- Racing thoughts
Signs of Postpartum Psychosis
*Postpartum psychosis is a life treatening condition and requires immediate treatment. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please know that there are professionals that can help and that your feelings can absolutely improve. If you relate to any of the symptoms below please ask a loved one to take you (or, if necessary, take yourself) to get treatment immediately. If you are not able to get an in office appointment with a professional then you can visit your local emergency room.
- Confusion and disorientation
- Obsessive thoughts about your baby
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Sleep disturbances
- Attempts to harm yourself or your baby
Our Postpartum Therapists:
Carly feels a deep connection with women and their families and has a passion for supporting them in managing the transition into motherhood. Carly uses a holistic approach, helping you to learn how to pay attention to the mind/body connection.
Virginia will support you in understanding the patterns and unhelpful beliefs that are maintaing your anxiety symptoms. Virginia specializes in supporting women that have experienced upsetting events, stressful events, and traumatic events. Her training focuses on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, and trauma. If you find that your anxiety is causing you to have obsessive or compulsive thoughts or behaviors then Virginia might be especially helpful to you.
Ariel understands that major life transitions – the birth of a child, starting college, a new job, big move, or the loss of a relationship might cause you to feel persistent worry or anxiety. She will help you navigate major life changes by creating of a warm and supportive therapeutic relationship, challenging maladaptive ways of thinking and behaving and by helping you increase insight and self-awareness.
Schedule with Ariel – Ariel is only taking new clients on a limited basis. For more information e-mail her directly at SternLPC@gmail.com.