Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Issues

What if this ISN'T the happiest time of your life? What if pregnancy (antenatal) or motherhood (postpartum) is nothing like you imagined and you are terrified of how your life has changed? Maybe you're filled with shame and grief for feeling this way; after all, aren't new mothers supposed to "glow" with bliss? What if you are struggling to connect with your new baby and feel numb? Or perhaps you're terrified to leave the house, positive that some harm will befall your baby.  

While the "baby blues" is extremely common and affects most new mothers, it only lasts up to 2 weeks and is generally a result to the rapidly dropping levels of hormones new moms experience after birth. 

Other ways that postpartum or antenatal issues show up can include:

  • Anger (even rage) or chronic irritability 

  • Insomnia (even when the baby actually does sleep)

  • Isolation

  • Crying

  • Lack of connection to pregnancy/numbness

  • Irrational fears (that feel very rational to you!)

  • Shame

  • Appetite changes

  • Marriage/relationship difficulty/increased conflict or increased distance

I believe that postpartum issues can arise out of a confluence of factors: biological, social/emotional, identity changes, situational factors (eg. having a newborn with colic substantially increases risk for postpartum mental health struggles), social support, etc. It can be extremely helpful to take medication prescribed from your GP or psychiatrist to help make symptoms more manageable while you learn new ways of thinking and coping during therapy sessions.