Maternal Mental Health
Becoming a parent is an emotional, complex roller coaster of a journey, one that can feel scary, lonely, and frustrating, especially if things do go as you had expected. We are here to help you navigate the ups, downs, and everything in between, to feel not only the challenges, but also the beautiful rewards.
While building a family may be something you’ve always dreamed of doing, it can also be a very stressful, difficult time, especially if things don’t go quite as smoothly as you had imagined they would. Every stage of motherhood poses its own set of challenges, and while each is so often romanticized (and can hold its own unique beauty and magic), they can all also elicit feelings of loneliness, shame, inadequacy, guilt, frustration, and anxiety, among many others. Many women struggle with how to process and cope with such feelings and all the changes they experience, but you don’t have to navigate any part of this journey alone.
For some, becoming pregnant unexpectedly ends up proving much more challenging than you anticipated it would. It may feel like so many friends had it so easy in comparison, which leaves floating you in this bubble of aloneness, overwhelming frustration, and anxiety. Or maybe you feel this mounting pressure from family, your partner, friends, society at large, or even yourself, to have a baby, but you just aren’t quite ready yet. You might be wrapped up in fear, anxiety, and guilt, and unsure where to turn to process how you really feel and what you really want to do.
You might already be pregnant, but the transition has not been what you anticipated it would be, abounding with glow and joy. Why are constant exhausting, anxiety, fear, and the roller coaster of all sorts of other emotions not talked about nearly as much? Or how the many changes your body goes through may be creating body image concerns or even a disconnect where it feels increasingly less like your own. You want to just be happy and enjoy the journey but it’s hard to always stay in that mindset and not also experience a mix of less excited, less comfortable emotions.
Or you may have just brought your baby home and you’re now in the postpartum stage, but it’s not quite that romanticized reality you had expected; there are a plethora of decisions to make, it feels like everything is new, and you’re deeply overwhelmed and likely sleep deprived. It can be really scary and exhausting having to navigate so much uncharted territory all while having to also redefine yourself, your new role, and taking care of a newborn.
Maybe you are noticing signs and symptoms of perinatal or postpartum depression or anxiety, including loneliness, intense mood swings, difficulty bonding with your baby, constant worry, overwhelming fatigue, or feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, fear, anger, or that you’re not a good mother. This “fourth trimester” was advertised as one abounding with joyful connection, but more often than not, you find yourself simply exhausted, alone, insecure, and stuck.
There are so many books out there on how to do this or how to do that, but when you’re really in it, it’s just so different, and everyone’s experiences, inside and out, are unique. What we do know, however, is that having a supportive therapist who gets what you’re going through can help you navigate the challenges and complexities so that you can begin to feel less alone and more resilient and confident. We can work with you on strengthening your coping mechanisms, compassion towards yourself, and support systems, figuring out what it means to take care of yourself during this time, and how to start embracing the journey and the many little moments that fill it.