Are You Struggling With Anxiety, Attachment Issues, Or Sadness As A New Mom?
Has the joy of recently giving birth to or adopting a child turned into overwhelming stress, exhaustion, or unexplained sadness? Do you feel as if you are “doing it” all wrong and just don’t know how to be a good mom?
Have you gone back to work but can’t focus because you feel guilty for not being with your child? As a result, do you worry that you're doing a bad job both at work and at home? Conversely, maybe you're a stay-at-home mom who is feeling increasingly isolated, lonely, and sad.
Perhaps you have trouble sleeping, caring for yourself, or finding the motivation to engage in activities you once enjoyed. It may even be that you have distanced yourself from your partner both emotionally and physically but don’t understand why.
Whether it's your first newborn, a step-child, or you recently adopted a child—becoming a new mother comes with profound and unique challenges that can create uncertainty, confusion, and severe stress. For instance, perhaps your child is not sleeping through the night or has colic and cries all the time. Breastfeeding might be a nightmare, especially if baby can't latch. You also may be struggling to recover from a difficult pregnancy and/or birth, which is making it hard to care for both yourself and your baby.
Or, maybe you have a sick infant, medical appointments, and conflicting advice that’s making you increasingly scared and on edge. It might be that you're having a hard time detaching from your child—or even connecting emotionally—causing you to wonder if something is internally wrong with you. Or, everything could be fine, but you can't stop weeping and wonder why motherhood seems so much harder for you than for everyone else.
Many New Mothers Feel The Same Way As You
Although you may feel isolated and largely misunderstood, you are far from alone. Studies show that at minimum, 70 to 80 percent of new mothers experience baby blues. Of those, 10 to 20 percent will develop depression and/or anxiety after a pregnancy. Many feel guilty and blame themselves, believing that they're simply not equipped for motherhood, which couldn't be further from the truth.
After giving birth, women experience significant hormonal shifts. Some can be positive, however, some can be negative and cause severe mood swings, excessive crying, overwhelming fatigue, and difficulty bonding with the baby. Women who adopt can also experience symptoms that mimic postpartum disorders, especially if mother, child, or both are struggling with attachment issues.
Like any significant life transition, the addition of a child to your family can be difficult. And, because this is supposed to be a happy experience, most women hide how scared, sad, and overwhelmed they feel. Unrealistic media depictions of the beautiful new mom serenely nursing her perfect baby replete with social media posts and pictures celebrating the wondrous experience of motherhood make it even harder to admit that we need help. But, there are times when we all need help. And, new motherhood is often one of them.
The good news is you don't have to go through this alone. A skilled, experienced, and highly compassionate postpartum therapist can help you figure out what you need to experience relief and how to develop strategies to best take care of yourself and your family.
Postpartum Counseling Provides You With Support, Guidance, And Relief
In safe, supportive postpartum therapy sessions, you will have the space and time to share your experience with someone who is truly compassionate and will never judge you. I understand both personally and professionally the challenges that come with being a mother, and together we will develop a treatment strategy that best addresses your needs, family dynamics, relationships, specific challenges, and goals.
Every woman experiences childbirth, adoption and/or postpartum issues differently, which is why we'll focus on issues specific to you during this difficult transition. While this period of adjustment is normal, a lack of sleep, heightened stress, and hormonal changes can provide fertile ground for postnatal depression and/or anxiety, which can compound feelings of isolation, fear, sadness, and fatigue. Together, we can look at some of the challenging thoughts and feelings you are having and develop strategies you can use to manage stress and engage in self-care. Further, we will discuss ways in which you can get your needs met, best care for your children, and restore the connection you have with your partner. We will also explore aspects of your authentic self—who you are as an individual—while simultaneously embracing your role as a mother.
Motherhood—especially new motherhood—can be hard. But, like everything else, what you're experiencing now is impermanent and will change. It's simply a matter of figuring out what you need to take care of yourself so you can best take care of your family. Together we can figure out how you can feel mentally grounded, emotionally connected, and physically calm. With a little extra support and a safe place to fully be yourself, it is possible to feel more empowered, balanced, and joyful.
You still may wonder if postpartum anxiety or depression counseling is right for you...
I'm afraid that if I'm honest about how I really feel I'll be judged as a bad mom or even lose my baby.
Sessions are a safe, confidential place for you to share anything and everything that is coming up for you without fear of judgment. Motherhood can be extremely difficult, and I will offer you respect and compassionate postpartum care as you share your thoughts, feelings, and challenges. Moreover, it is so much better to talk to someone you can trust and have a safe space to work through the confusing emotions and uncertainty rather than allow them to fester and grow. Anything you need to say will stay in the office. And, sometimes just knowing that you have a safe place to vent, cry, and share can bring significant relief.
How long does postpartum counseling generally take?
The length of time spent in any kind of therapy depends on your needs and goals. It might be that you just need a few sessions and added support as you adjust to this new life experience. Or, it might be that you decide to stay in therapy longer, which can be especially helpful if you struggle with relationship problems or perinatal depression/ anxiety. A lot of healing, personal discoveries, and growth can be achieved through a trusting therapeutic relationship. That said, the length of time spent in counseling is ultimately up to you.
I feel like I should be able to figure this out on my own.
There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. I actually regard doing so as a sign of strength and intelligence. We all need help sometimes—especially during challenging transitions. And, counseling can help you identify blind spots (which we all have), heal more quickly, and get back to your life and feeling good again.
You Can Feel Confident, Capable, And Calm
If you're struggling with postpartum blues or the demands of being a new mom, I can help. If you are in the Hamptons, North Fork, South Fork, NY, or surrounding areas, I invite you to call my office at 212-888-2888 for a free phone consultation. I'm happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions you have about postpartum treatment and my practice. Furthermore, if you are interested, I also offer a postpartum support group for new moms.