So you’re going to be a parent!
You are about to embark on what many parents say is the best and hardest job they’ve ever had.
Perhaps this is your first child, perhaps not.
Either way, a lot of feelings and questions are bound to arise.
How do I care for myself and my baby during pregnancy?
What type of birth do I want to have?
How do I juggle all my responsibilities: career, marriage/partnership, my other children’s needs, my own needs?
I have my own depression and/or anxiety, so how do I care for my own mental health needs during this time?
There are no easy answers about the best ways to approach pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum phase, but perinatal and prenatal therapy can help you define you what you want and develop a plan that’s reflective of your needs and values as you navigate the complexities of childbirth and begin the journey of parenthood.
We offer a safe place for moms and moms-to-be to explore the choices available to them and the concerns that arise, always keeping your needs and values front and center as we guide you in this process.
PRENATAL AND PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH
One of the struggles you might face as a new mother can be perinatal depression.
Perinatal means right before and right after your baby is born, so perinatal depression includes prenatal depression, which can begin while you’re pregnant, and postpartum depression, which begins right after your baby is born.
If you’re a new parent, you will start to realize that your baby needs a lot of attention and care as it grows; you need to feed them, dress them, bathe them, change their diaper, and play with them.
This can be extremely exhausting, especially if your baby is a light sleeper, or has a sleep schedule completely different from yours.
This life change can cause the “baby blues,” which is when you feel down during the first two weeks after your baby is born.
However, it is possible that these “baby blues” last a lot longer, in which case, you need to get help.
If this period continues and gets worse it can lead to postpartum depression.
Researchers believe that perinatal depression can be caused by both environment and genes.
It’s possible that stress from your life, work, hormonal changes, or even the actual demands of raising your child can increase your risk for perinatal depression.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERINATAL OR POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?
A lot of the symptoms of perinatal or postpartum depression are very similar to Major Depressive Disorder.
These can include:
- A constant sad and empty mood
- Feeling as if you are hopeless or worthless
- Losing interest in the activities that you usually enjoy
- Trouble with concentrating on tasks or remembering details
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Changes to your weight and/or your appetite
- Difficulty forming a close bond with your baby
- Constantly doubting whether or not you can care for your new baby
- Thinking about dying, or harming yourself or your baby
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s time to reach out to a therapist immediately.
TEACHING YOU TO TRUST YOURSELF
Many clients have come to me during pregnancy with doubts about their ability to be a parent.
“Am I bound to repeat the same mistakes my parents made?”
“Do I possess the resources to care adequately for my child?”
Perinatal and prenatal therapy can help you transform your fear and uncertainty into confidence and hope.
Often our culture doesn’t adequately prepare us to trust our own instincts.
There is so much “advice” out there on how to be pregnant, how to labor, and how to care for an infant.
This advice must be taken with a grain of salt and we must allow these resources to guide us, but not distract us from our inner knowing.
Sometimes our intuition gets lost in the collective voices of our extended family, friends, and health professionals.
Perinatal and prenatal therapy is a safe place to reconnect with our inner self and listen to its wisdom and guidance.
It’s not easy to raise a child, but we can help you through it.
My LA Therapy is blessed to have both a clinical and wellness team!
If you’re looking for physical support and wellness, check out our pregnancy personal trainer’s page!
OUR PERINATAL AND PRENATAL THERAPY METHODS
Therapy can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize your anxiety, identifying and changing underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and providing you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.
See the About Therapy page for a deeper look into this process.
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in addressing mental health issues surrounding perinatal, prenatal, and postpartum issues such as depression, anxiety, and more.
Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A PRENATAL THERAPY EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our perinatal therapy specialists for a free consultation any time.