Maternal & Paternal Mental Health
Maternal & Paternal Mental Health focuses on the overall emotional well-being of individuals that are soon to be parents or have become parents within the last year. When hearing the term Baby Blues or Postpartum, most people associate these terms with women that have Postpartum Depression (PPD). However, fathers can also experience depression and anxiety around the birth of their child.
The last thing a new mother needs is to feel any kind of anxiety and depression after the birth of their child. Sadly, this is much more common than most people realize. Studies have shown that 1 in every 7 new mothers will experience Postpartum Depression and/or Postpartum Anxiety. This can be influenced by the significant fluctuations in a woman’s hormones throughout pregnancy, birth, and the first year postpartum. These hormonal fluctuations impact a mother’s ability to regulate their emotions effectively, leading to depression and anxiety.
Many new mothers report feeling a loss of identity, freedom, and autonomy, as everything they once knew has drastically changed in a short period of time. There are often many conflicting emotions of guilt, sadness, fear, love, happiness, and worry with a woman’s new role as a mother. It’s a desire to want to give our children the very best that we can, but then it can also be the guilt that we cannot measure up to our own expectations. It’s nearly impossible to prepare for the transition to motherhood and the unexpected challenges that come with it. Talking through these challenges with a trained therapist or counselor can relieve the intensity of symptoms, give an outlet to process openly, and provide the support and education necessary to better understand your experience of adjustment to motherhood.
If you are feeling excessive worry or depression during or after pregnancy that impairs your ability to enjoy the experience, then I recommend that you call (818) 446-7488 for a free phone consultation or reach out to the resources below:
- (800) 944-4PPD (4773) – a toll-free help line for individuals experiencing depression or anxiety around perinatal mental health.