“How can I be feeling sad?! I just had a beautiful, healthy baby?”
Having a baby is a life changing event. Many women do not consider feeling anything but sheer joy when they bring their baby home. The truth is, women and men can be overwhelmed with anxiety and depression during pregnancy and after birth. Related fears of wanting to be a perfect parent, assuming the huge responsibility of a human’s life, in addition to grief and loss related toyour lifestyle and a new baby are all overwhelming feelings to new parents. One in seven women suffer from post partum depression, which highlights how common PPD is.
Feeling as if you aren’t good enough, feeling like you are “going crazy,” wanting to run away, obsessive fear of your baby’s health and well being, inability to sleep, or wanting to sleep all the time, and/or feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or your baby are all common feelings with post partum depression. 20% of women have reported these same feelings, so you are not alone.
The best way to manage negative feelings is to communicate these concerns, no matter how big or small, to a healthcare professional. Emotions can be hard to share with your baby doting partners or family mothers, and immense guilt can overcome you for having those feelings, only making you feel worse. When I had my children, I was handed a PPD evaluation at both the pediatrician and my OBGYN practice. This was immensely helpful because it opened the door to a conversation about my mental health that I may not have had on my own, and allowed me to vent negative feelings associated with having a baby. I was then referred to a therapist who could help me navigate and sort out these feelings. Talking to a non-judgemental person who also experienced having a child was very useful in validating my feelings, and from there, I developed ways to cope with and manage my new parenting responsibilities. The most important sense for a new mother to have is to feel supported, and that is the gift I received from my therapist.
I am here to give the same gift to you. I will be a safe, supportive,and validating person in your life that will help you make the best decisions for yourself and yourfamily. For me, it was very difficult to schedule and get to an in-office therapy session with a new baby at home and my husband’s travel schedule for work. I am excited to extend video counseling services to women who are pregnant and post partum and looking to discuss their mental health with a professional. This convenient form of counseling will allow you to talk to someone from the comfort of your own home.
Please follow this link to determine if you may be facing PPD and then reach out to me to schedule a session. There is professional help for you, and with help comes hope for mental wellness and stability.
Amanda Francis is a LPC and licensed in Connecticut. She works with teens, young adults, adults, and couples to help them achieve their mental health and wellness goals.
“I want people to know it is ok to ask for help, and I am here to support you on your journey to live your best life.” – Amanda Francis.