Maternal MeNTAL HEALTH

Transition To Motherhood

 
 
 

Maternal Mental Health is all about your mental health during conception, pregnancy, miscarriage or loss, birth and postpartum.  Society has a good way of making women believe that once you are a mother "you will know what to do when the baby is here." Which would be ALL great if that were true. Your "Maternal Instinct" that just will not kick in , so there must be something wrong with you is a myth. Being a mother is hard work and most women experience exactly how you are feeling.

You're Not Alone 

1 Woman in 10: Experience depression during pregnancy. These symptoms are like the Baby Blues but happen before the baby is born.

8 Women in 10: Experience the Baby Blues after giving birth. They may cry for no apparent reason, feel impatient, irritable, restless, and anxious.

1 Woman in 7: Experiences Postpartum Depression. A woman with Postpartum Depression may feel sluggish, sad, confused, anxious, irritable, guilty, and have difficulty remembering things. She may have trouble eating and sleeping. She may have fears of harming the baby or herself. Her moods might change from being very happy to very sad. She may feel out of control She may want to avoid seeing people or talking about feelings. 

What is Postpartum Depression & Anxiety 

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety are a set of disorders that can occur anytime during pregnancy and the first year postpartum and incluce depression, anxiety, panic, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Postpartum Psychosis. Postpartum depression affects 20% of postpartum women. Postpartum anxiety affects roughly 15%. Over 800,000 cases are reported in the U. S. each year making Postpartum depression the #1 most common complication of child birth. Every woman is at risk regardless of age, race, or financial status.

Baby Blues Or Postpartum Depression?

Severity: Baby Blues features tearfulness and overwhelm, however predominate mood is happiness. Baby Blues is unrelated to stress or any psychiatric history. Depressive mood is persistent gloom, low self esteem, guilt, fatigue, poor appetite, sleep disturbance, lack of interest toward baby, overwhelmed, irritable, thoughts of hopelessness and thoughts of harming self or baby.

Duration: Baby Blues last no longer than 2 days to 2 weeks after delivery of child. 

Timing: Baby Blues peaks 3-5 days after delivery. Depression symptoms can appear anytime during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. 

 

If I Have Postpartum Depression or Anxiety What Can I Do?

Some women may find it hard talking about Postpartum Depression especially women of color. They may wish to deal with their problem secretly and hope that it goes away on its own. It is possible to feel better. Here are some things that can help: 

1. Lean on Family & Friends: There are many ways that family and friends can help you. A few hours of weekly child care can give you a much needed break. When you share your feelings openly with friends and family, it allows them to provide the important support you need.

2. Talk to a Health Care Profession: Screening for Postpartum Depression should be a routine part of your health care during and after pregnancy. If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and last for years causing pain and suffering. Postpartum mood disorders are very responsive to treatment through therapy and, if needed, medication.

3. Find a Support Group: Ask your health care professional how to find and join a support group. Spirited By Truth offers a Postpartum Support Group please call for details. 

Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Changes Your Thoughts & Behaviors

When you give birth to your baby, it is supposed to be the most exciting and happiest time of your life. However, instead of joy and happiness, you feel sad and overwhelmed due to the expectations of being a perfect mom, perfect partner, and pressure of keeping everything together. Before you were a mother you used to be a social butterfly, now you don't feel like yourself, but you don't want to admit it due to fear of feeling like a failure or feeling like a bad mom. Motherhood has left you feeling scared and alone.

I support women through the difficulties of transitioning into motherhood. I can help you by providing empathy, information, and practical help. I can help you work through debunking the myths of motherhood, assist you with reconnecting with yourself, and work with you in building a healthy connection with your baby.

Speaking up and seeking treatment is the best way of taking care of yourself. It is important that you understand you are not alone, you are not to blame, and with my professional help you will get better. Take the next step and call today to schedule your first appointment.

 

 
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I am the Postpartum Support International’s Area Coordinator for San Bernardino County and I have my Certificate of Completion in Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder. I am here to assist!