If You Are Suffering from Postpartum Depression You Are Not Alone
In Fact, Postpartum Depression is the most common complication of pregnancy.
You know you should be thrilled with your new baby and yet, you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and depressed…
Counseling or therapy has been proven to help women overcome post-partum depression (PPD).
You were likely very excited about having your baby. But, now that your baby is born it seems everybody is bursting with exuberance, except you. You are wondering what is wrong with you. Motherhood just doesn’t seem to be the way you imagined it to be.
It’s confusing; you don’t understand why you feel so low.
You may feel tired and weepy for no reason. Instead of feeling joyful, you feel guilty. You are not enjoying your baby the way you should be. You just can’t seem to snap yourself out of it. You simply don’t have the energy.
If this is supposed to be the happiest time of your life why do you feel so down?
If you are experiencing post partum depression you may:
- have difficulty sleeping or want to sleep all the time
- be weepy and sad much of the time
- be irritable and moody
- have difficulty relating to and bonding with your baby
- have difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- lack of energy and feel exhausted
- feel disconnected from your baby
- feel guilty or inadequate as a mother
If you are like some mothers, you may experience a lot of anxiety. You may be constantly afraid that something terrible will happen to your baby.
You may feel you can’t relax even when your baby is fine or you are tormented with some of the following:
- excessively worrying that your baby will get sick
- constantly checking to see if your baby is safe
- thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby that you can’t seem to stop
You may also feel guilty for having some of these and fear that you are a bad mother. You know that what you imagine are things you would never do,—and yet, you still have trouble controlling the thoughts.
If you have these kinds of thoughts, you may feel alone with them. You may fear telling anyone because you are terrified of what they may think or do. You feel ashamed.
This leaves you feeling very alone as if there is no one you can talk to.
Feelings of Depression Soon After Childbirth Are Common…
Most mothers (60%-80%) experience some emotional sensitivity (also known as the “baby blues.”) in the 1st week after child birth. These feelings usually spontaneously subside within 24 to 72 hours in the majority of new mothers.
However, if you experience depression or any of the above symptoms for longer than 2 weeks within the 1st year of childbirth, you may be experiencing some form of postpartum depression. If this sounds like you, the important thing to know is that counseling or therapy can help you resolve post partum depression.
Research shows that early identification and psychological treatment of maternal depression is important for both you as a mother and your baby.
Why worry about postpartum depression?
In postpartum depression both mothers and infants suffer.
Postpartum depression can affect your ability to function and take care of yourself and your baby.
Studies show that babies whose mothers have untreated maternal depression that lasts longer than six months may:
- tend to be irritable and are difficult to console
- smile less and are less engaged socially
- are at risk for not bonding as strongly with their mothers
- have cognitive delays and later learning difficulties
- have delays in language development
- exhibit behavioral problems from preschool to high school
Difficult babies can also contribute to maternal depression. If you have a fussy baby that does not respond when you try to engage her or him, you may feel rejected. You may also feel you are not a good enough mother.
If your baby is challenging it doesn’t mean that you are a bad mother or that you should feel ashamed of it. Postpartum depression is out of your control and it doesn’t make you into a bad parent. However, the choice to seek counseling or therapy is in your control. Considering the impact of depression on you and your baby, it is important to seek help right away.
The good news is that as maternal depression improves, there is a reduction in behavioral problems of the children.
PPD affects the whole family.
The good news is that with counseling or therapy more than 80% percent of women with postpartum depression recover completely within one year. Without help only 25%-30% recover.
Many mothers who struggle with postpartum depression say they missed out on their baby’s first year of life.
Don’t miss your baby’s first’s smile or other important milestones of that precious first year.
Yes you can be present for every day of your baby’s life.
The sooner you get help, the sooner you can enjoy your baby!
Counseling can successfully reduce depression and anxiety during pregnancy and afterwards. It is often a treatment of choice because of concerns of antidepressant medication while breastfeeding.
BENEFITS of counseling for post partum depression:
- bring a sense joy to the time you spend with your baby
- boost your confidence as a mother
- feel good about yourself and your life again
- gain control over the negative emotions and replace them with positive ones
- prevent cognitive, emotional and social problems of your child
- improve your relationship with your baby
Why Choose Me as Your Psychologist / Therapist for Post Partum Depression?
As a psychologist, specializing in reproductive and pregnancy related issues, I have successfully helped many women with postpartum depression. I can help you too.
Over the last 15 years I was fortunate to witness many women who were initially depressed and anxious feel better about themselves as a mother. As a psychologist, I have helped post partum women overcome shame and guilt and feel competent and happy as mothers.
Unlike traditional therapy that relies only on individual counseling, I may work with you and your baby, or you and your partner. I will help you become aware of your baby’s cues, so that you can build your confidence in interacting with him or her.
I may also invite you to bring your partner who may be feeling helpless or guilty for not been able to help you.
Your whole family may benefit from counseling if you are suffering from post-partum depression.
Although medication for postpartum depression and anxiety is helpful, it is often not enough. Therapy is the safest treatment that you can receive while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It also helps you resolve the root cause of your depression in a safe and healthy way.
Many women have experienced and overcome postpartum depression and so can you.
If you are ready to feel better about yourself and your baby call me for a free 10-minute phone consultation at 281-267-1742
Dr. Irena Milentijevic is a psychologist and therapist who specializes in counseling mothers and mothers-to-be who are struggling with depression, postpartum depression, stress, loss, pregnancy loss and stress due to infertility. She also provides therapy to parents with young children. Her therapy offices are in Houston and in the Woodlands, Texas.