Experiencing mental health challenges during pregnancy or postpartum?
Maybe this sounds like you:
“I’m a terrible mother, I can’t do this”
“My partner doesn’t understand how hard this is for me”
“I feel so out of control with worries”
“I just don't feel myself anymore”
“I’m angry all the time”
The perinatal period (which encompasses both the prenatal & postpartum experience) is a time of great change. Changes to the women’s body, her priorities, the relationship, career, lifestyle, etc. We often focus on the exciting and happy parts of creating a family, which leaves little space to honor how having a baby drastically changes one’s life. Imagine having just one big change to your career, lifestyle, or relationship, and now imagine all of those aspects of your life that usually keep you grounded are now in flux. It should come as no surprise that approximately 1 in 7 women, and 1 in 10 partners, will experience a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) (Canadian Psychological Association).
There are so many people who don’t meet all the criteria for a PMAD diagnosis, and yet still suffer with anxiety and depression symptoms. So if you are pregnant or a new parent and are feeling overwhelmed, or your mood/emotions are getting in the way being able to function, please know that you are not alone. And there are resources to support you.
Therapy can help you to:
- Understand the complex challenges of the transition into parenthood. Many new parents think they’ll be able to do it all. The “supermom” and “superdad” myths keep parents stuck in a loop of constantly thinking they can do better/do more, and then feel badly when they realize they aren’t a perfect “super-parent”. Illuminate works with new parents to build compassion for themselves in a time period where there is so much change.
- Recognize familiar patterns. Our relationship with our emotional self begins to develop in childhood and adolescence - quite often emotional challenges that are showing up today are actually old/familiar messages from childhood being triggered by current stressors (like having a new baby).
- Explore the roots of where depression and anxiety are originating from. There is power in understanding WHY your body & mind are doing what they’re doing.
- Learn new ways of coping. We’ll examine what you’re already doing to support yourself (you may not be aware of it yet, but there’s always something helpful you’re already doing for yourself). We’ll also explore new “tools” to add to your “coping toolbox” - these will be customized because it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. You’ll gain tools and strategies to help you and your partner better cope.
- Connect with additional mental health referrals if necessary. Your Illuminate therapist will assess the severity of symptoms and you’ll discuss what seems “normal” or “typical” for you with this big life change. It takes a village to support a struggling parent, so appropriate referrals are regularly made.