Perinatal mood disorders (PMAD’s) describe depression and other mood disorders that women experience during pregnancy, childbirth and once baby comes home. PMAD’s are the #1 medical complications related to childbearing. 1 in 5 mothers experience depression or anxiety within the first year of having a baby—that is beyond “it must be the hormones.”
Here are some myths about postpartum depression or “the baby blues” that women in my practice share with me:
- “It will go away on its own.”
- “This must mean that I don’t love my baby.”
- “But, crying is natural after you’ve just given birth.”
- “Shouldn’t I be happy? I’ve wanted a baby ever since I can remember.”
Perhaps you have had these same thoughts and often times is it a normal reaction to the transition to parenthood. But, if you find yourself excessively crying, feeling incredibly overwhelmed, dealing with rage, or struggling with hopelessness, you may be experiencing a PMAD. Mothers struggling with a PMAD often tell me, “I just don’t feel like myself.”
Maybe you are the partner witnessing your wife struggle–and you don’t know what to do. You know that she is overwhelmed and perhaps distancing herself from you. You don’t know how to reach her and maybe you don’t even know what the problem is.
Bringing baby home is full of emotional charge and unchartered experiences. The transition can sometimes be a difficult one for the entire family. I provide mothers-to-be and new mothers with a toolkit of strategies to help them feel more like themselves again and to find solid ground. I help couples navigate this overwhelming time with strategies for communication, support and emotional connectivity. Together, we work through the depression, anxiety, fears, disappointments and birth trauma associated with PMAD’s until a “new normal” is found.