Is your transition into parenthood more of a strain than you expected?
Do you often find tears welling up in your exhausted eyes? Are you feeling overwhelmed or unable to meet the demands on you?
Or maybe you’d like the support of a compassionate expert to guide you through the early days of parenthood? With a little bit of help, you could be there fully for your child, and connect with yourself and your partner on a deeper level.
Becoming a new parent always changes more about our lives than we expect and counseling is an important means to ensure you receive the support and guidance you need through this intense time.
Statistics show that 21.9% of women experience depression in the year after childbirth. One in seven new parents experience postnatal anxiety.
Then there are the usual stressors and strains of caring for a new child whose behaviors and requirements need to be learnt.
When a woman becomes a mom, a rush of changes occur. These changes include those that directly affect her biology, such as hormonal shifts and a lack of sleep, as well as more social or personal changes, such as relationship shifts and the added pressure of familial, cultural, and societal expectations & commentary.
Dads experience social and emotional changes too. A father’s brain changes as he bonds with and falls in love with his child. Dads may develop post-partum depression as well as moms. The number one risk factor for a man developing post-partum depression is if his partner has developed symptoms. The second risk factor is if e has his own history of depression or other mental health issues. Adjustments to fatherhood are profound and even dads may need support as they navigate their new lives and loves.
So whether you’re a new parent for the first time, or already have another child or children, each pregnancy, each birthing, and each baby is different. Counseling can help you cope with the strains that cause your feelings of overwhelm, as well as enhance this wonderful time of life for you.
So if these sound like you…
– I want to feel more fully connected to my child
– I want to increase the chances that new parenthood will bring me and my partner closer
– I think I need to do everything perfectly, but I’m failing
– I wish to thrive in parenthood, but I don’t know if I am
– I would like support and understanding
…Then “new parenting” counseling could be for you.
Therapy can help you feel valued, calm, capable, and connected as you begin or continue your parenthood journey. Therapy can help with a wide variety of new parenthood issues, from smaller issues and feelings, to dealing with the major challenges or transitions that you or a partner could be experiencing.
Wanting to be pregnant, trying to get pregnant and not yet being pregnant can narrow your thoughts to a two week window and lead to a great deal of distress, anxiety, and grief. Having support while you navigate this road is crucial and important for planning how to manage the outcomes, whether you conceive or not. If you have chosen to adopt or use a surrogate, this too can be an anxious time and emotional support is helpful.
Regardless of how you choose to become a parent and under what circumstances (same-sex relationship, single parenthood by choice, surrogacy, etc.), having someone to travel this road with you will help you cope with the ups and downs and be better prepared for the outcomes.
Peri-natal and Post-partum Mental Health
Being pregnant and having a baby is a profound experience in a person’s life. It can be filled with great joy and it can be filled with extreme anxiety and heartache. Many women develop a Perinatal Mood and Affect Disorders (PMAD) such as anxiety and/or depression, have scary/intrusive thoughts and feelings, and do not bond with their babies as soon or as closely as they want to. There is hope and help. You do not have to suffer with these terrible feelings. Specialized counseling and support can help you connect with support and start to feel better.
Support groups allow you meet other people who are dealing with similar issues that you are and this helps you feel less isolated and alone in your struggles. Group is a safe place to talk about what’s on your mind and in your heart without the fear of being judged.
Little Frogs and Pollywogs
This group is intended for mothers of toddlers and preschoolers who, in addition to coping with the normal ins and outs of parenting a young child, are also coping with depression and/or anxiety. Group is a safe place to share your thoughts and feelings about being a mom, and a woman, without judgement. This group is held twice a month in central San Diego. The cost is $35/per person/per group. Please contact Cara for more information.
After the NICU
This group is for parents or adult family members who have had a baby in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). This experience is overwhelming and often traumatic. Parents are on autopilot when their babies are in the NICU, just waiting for their baby to go home. The, often unexpected, emotional trauma that bubbles up weeks, even months or years after the baby has gone home can be very difficult to deal with. Join other parents who have been through this experience and understand the unique fears, worries, and successes that only a NICU family can.
In our non-judgmental, supportive practice we will discuss your wants and needs openly and respectfully. Our evidence-based techniques, therapies, and experience will help pave the way for an enjoyable beginning to your journey through parenthood. If you’re looking for an understanding ear to help you through this time, please contact me today for an appointment.