PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH
While having a baby can be the most incredible time in your life it can also be one of the most challenging times. Perinatal Mental Health is specific in working with mothers who are experiencing emotional challenges during pregnancy and into the postnatal period. Having support at such a time when you feel most vulnerable is crucial to creating positive connections between yourself and your child. There are many other factors that contribute to the mental and emotional well-being of mothers.
So if you are feeling that your not coping, or feeling like you cannot connect to your baby, struggling with adjusting to parenthood and many other feelings and emotions that just feel to big to deal with, give me a call to discuss if this is something that I can help you through.
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Anxiety - in pregnancy presents in a range of typical experiences such as Stress, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic disorders through to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Anxiety and Phobia's.
Most women experience a level of anxiety in pregnancy that is normal, it becomes more problematic when it really starts to impact on your life and this is the time to seek help. Typically Anxiety disorders are more prevalent in the antenatal period which can lead to an increased susceptibility for Postnatal Depression.
Depression and Postnatal Depression - The most common perinatal mental health problem is postnatal depression, with rates ranging between 13% in the first few weeks to 20% of women in the first year after the birth of their child (Priest et al 2003). Depression, like any other mental health concern, has the potential to disrupt the attachment between mother and child. These conditions are treatable.
PARENTING AND ATTACHMENT
Gosh if only those children came with a manual!!!
We are all amateurs when it comes to parenting and because they dont come equipped with a manual, we will naturally fall back on our own experiences of being parented - parenting how we were parented. For some, it will not be a problem, but for others it will be quite traumatic and confusing - feelings of inadequacy will come to the forefront.
Or you may just be feeling overwhelmed with the massive change in your life that you were not expecting just how much this will impact on your day to day life. Being a stay at home mother, can be very challenging.
Adjustment disorder is really common and affects up to 50% of families (PANDA).
Having someone listen to you and not judge you for feelings of being "ripped off when your partner is at work and being with other adults" is something that I am familiar with and the key message here is - you are not alone in feeling like this.
GRIEF AND LOSS
Loss is something that we all experience and affects us all in different ways. Loss can be physical or symbolic, always resulting in a deprivation of some kind, we no longer have someone or something that we used to have.
There are many examples of loss, the most obvious is loss of a loved one, loss of a pet, loss of a job, loss of an experience, loss of a sense of who you are now as a parent. Loss can be anything and it is unavoidable.
Our reaction to a loss is known as Grief.
Grief too, has many different presentations and will vary from person to person, situation to situation. Grief is a NORMAL psychological, social and physical reaction to a loss.
BIRTH TRAUMA & TRAUMA
The term trauma refers to an overwhelming level of stress created through particularly distressing, painful or difficult experiences. These experiences in most cases exceed our ability to manage, cope or integrate the emotions and feelings associated with the event or experience. Trauma can be recent or in the past. Because of the painful and difficult nature of traumatic memories, they are often hidden deep within our unconscious mind and we form defences around them, finding methods of coping until an event reminds us of our experience and we are re-traumatised and overwhelmed.
If you feel that you are re-experiencing feelings from the past but dont know why, this may be an area to consider and which needs to be worked with.
Presenting and running workshops is something that I have experience in. I have presented on a range of topics to do with Perinatal Mental Health primarily to other professionals.
If this is something that you would be interested in, please contact me for further discussion.