From the moment a woman learns she is pregnant, she begins to experience a myriad of emotions. While many of these emotions are positive, feelings of anxiety, sadness, grief, or irritability are not uncommon. Parenting brings major changes to a person’s lifestyle which can be quite overwhelming. These feelings are common, but if they begin to interfere with your ability to function or if they last longer than a week, you may benefit from therapy.
15-20% of all women will experience a form of postpartum mood disorder (depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress) at some point in the 12 months following the birth of a child. Too often women go without treatment and suffer in silence, afraid that they are the only ones to feel this way. The following questions highlight symptoms of a postpartum mood disorder.
Are you feeling sad or depressed?
Do you feel anxious or panicky?
Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
Are you able to sleep when everyone else is asleep?
Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?
Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?
If the questions above are describing how you feel, help is available. One of the worst fears women report is feeling that you are “crazy” and that by seeking help someone will take your baby away. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to take care of yourself. Rest assured that you are not alone. With some support you can get back to your “old self” again.
Betty-Shannon takes a three-pronged approach to facilitate the recovery from Postpartum Mood Disorders: Biological, Psychological and Social. Every aspect of a new mom’s life is impacted by the upheaval created by the new baby (or babies) so of course, you will look together for resources in all of these areas to speed recovery.
1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas Phelan
Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay