Are Sadness and Worry Making it Difficult to Connect With and Care for Your Newborn?
Have you recently given birth and now find that new parenthood is nothing like you’d expected or hoped it would be? Do you feel deeply lonely, distant from your newborn and isolated from the life you had before? It may seem as though you can’t stop crying and you don’t have the energy to get out of bed, get dressed or feed yourself a proper meal. Maybe you feel as though you are going through the motions with your newborn, feeding them because you know you should, and not because you want to. You may sometimes resent your newborn’s seemingly constant demands. Or, maybe you feel so deadened and exhausted that you ignore your newborn altogether, even when they are crying. Perhaps your partner seems overwhelmed and worried, and friends and family members have offered to help, but everything feels so horrible that you can’t imagine talking to anyone. You might feel stuck in a cycle of sadness, guilt, shame and hopelessness. Or, you might feel numb and empty.
It may be that you feel on-edge, nervous and worried about all of the things that could happen to your newborn. Perhaps you have a million fearful thoughts running thoughts your head, making it impossible to relax and feel at ease with your new child. You may be struggling with obsessive thoughts and behaviors and find yourself checking on the baby non-stop, even though you are increasingly sleep-deprived and worn down. It may be that your partner or other family members have offered to help, but you don’t trust anyone else to take care of things properly. Your interactions with your newborn may make you feel tense and distressed, flooded with images of everything that could go wrong. Maybe while caring for your child, you’ve experienced the symptoms of a panic attack, such as a racing heart or difficulty breathing, followed by a sense of guilt and helplessness.
Whether you’re struggling with the signs or postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety symptoms or both, you may long for relief from sadness, anger, irritability and exhaustion. Do you wish you could feel more confident and at ease and find the joy in parenting that you hoped for?
You Are Not Alone
Adjusting to life with a newborn is difficult for everybody. Hormonal shifts, sleep deprivation, new responsibilities, financial worries, conflict with your partner and more can make new parents feel stressed, down and overwhelmed. And, many parents feel as though the reality of parenthood doesn’t match up with their vision, leading to disenchantment, resentment and guilt.
It can be difficult to distinguish between the typical baby blues and the signs of postpartum depression and anxiety. And, if you are the newborn’s father, you may wonder if postpartum depression in men is even a real thing. But, whether mother or father, if you are struggling to care for your child or yourself, it may be that something more serious than transitional growing pains is going on. Fifteen percent of new parents report significant depression after giving birth, and those with multiple newborns or family or personal histories of anxiety or depression are at greater risk for developing postpartum issues. Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, you are not alone, and this is not your fault. Postpartum depression and anxiety are medical conditions, and although they can be serious, you don’t have to feel this way forever. By working with skilled, compassionate postpartum counselor, you can cultivate acceptance, relief and connection with your newborn.
Postpartum Counseling Can Help You and Your Newborn Thrive
As a postpartum therapist, I offer complete acceptance and nonjudgmental support, and my office is a safe place for you to express exactly what you’re going through, not matter how dark or frightening it may seem. The signs of postpartum depression and anxiety can be alarming, and as we work together, I can help you better understand what you are experiencing and how to ask for the help you need.
I value your unique experience and challenges, as we will collaborate to discover the problem-solving strategies that work best for you. If you are primarily seeking postpartum anxiety treatment, I can help you slow the racing, intrusive thoughts swirling through your mind so you can more clearly recognize which are based in hypothetical fear and which reflect reality. You can learn tools to restore calm in moments of panic and develop the resiliency needed to navigate challenges with greater ease. In postpartum depression counseling sessions, I can help you find relief from pressing symptoms and let go of any feelings of shame, guilt or overwhelm that may be keeping you stuck in a cycle of distress.
As we work together, you may decide to bring your newborn into the office with you. This gives you the opportunity to practice bonding skills with my active support and guidance. I can help you learn how to emotionally interact with your child and hone your instincts so you can more accurately identify what your baby needs when they need it. No one has a foolproof manual for raising newborns, but with postpartum counseling, you can create a new relationship with your baby and figure out what parenthood looks like for you.
Postpartum depression and anxiety are more common than people realize, and there is a way through. You can feel capable of taking care of yourself and your baby. It is possible to form a healthy attachment with your newborn, cultivate hope and engage in a full, satisfying life.
You may have questions or concerns about postpartum counseling…
This is all too much. I’m struggling to leave the house; I can’t meet with a postpartum therapist.
If you feel too overwhelmed to make it to my office, I can come to you. During home sessions, you and I can establish a trusting therapeutic relationship. As you build a greater sense of empowerment and security, we can gradually transition to in-office sessions. You don’t have to let your symptoms hold you back from healing or the life you want to live.
If you’re eager to leave the house but unable to find childcare, then you’re welcome to bring the baby to postpartum counseling sessions with you. I can work with both of you to foster attachment, emotional connection and healthy coping strategies.
I should just get over it on my own.
Postpartum depression and anxiety are real medical conditions, not signs of failure or weakness, and left untreated, may only get worse. This isn’t your fault, and it’s better to reach out for help now than to stay in the darkness alone. Postpartum issues affect not only your overall wellbeing, but also your baby’s ability to form healthy relationships throughout their life. By seeking help, you can change both of your lives for the better.
I can’t afford postpartum counseling.
If financial concerns are making it difficult for you to seek the help you need, I offer sliding scale therapy options. I also invite you to consider how much money you’ve invested in your child’s health and wellbeing. It’s equally important to invest in yourself. Your comfort and security matter for you both.
If attending sessions is truly impossible, I encourage you to look into free resources at Postpartum.net. There is help and hope out there, and you can get through this.
I invite you to call me at 323-539-7717 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. You can ask any questions you have about postpartum depression counseling, postpartum anxiety treatment and my practice. Schedule an appointment today.