You’re pregnant and struggling to feel like yourself. You often feel anxious, overwhelmed, sad, or moody.
You’ve just given birth and you feel like you’re living in a cloud of sadness or worry. You constantly worry about being a good mother. You feel guilty for not being happier during this time that’s supposed to be filled with overwhelming joy.
If you’re pregnant or have given birth in the last year and struggling with mental health issues, then it may be a sign that you have a perinatal mood disorder. This can include being depressed and anxious while pregnant. And, it can include postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, and postpartum psychosis.
Regardless of what you’re experiencing, you’re not alone. Perinatal mood disorders are far more common than you probably imagined. We help women (and men) overcome these concerns so they can get back to being the parents they always wanted to be and connect with their baby.
What does perinatal mean?
Perinatal means the period “all around” birth. We use it to mean the period of time all throughout pregnancy as well as the baby’s first year.
What does PMADs stand for?
PMADs stands for Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. These are a group of symptoms that affect a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. These symptoms cause significant distress and make it hard to function and enjoy life to the fullest.
- Depression during pregnancy and postpartum
- Anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum
- Pregnancy or postpartum OCD
- Postpartum posttraumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar mood disorder in pregnancy or postpartum
- Pregnancy psychosis
What is pregnancy or postpartum depression? How does it differ from the baby blues?
Did you know that 1 in 7 Moms and 1 in 10 Dads suffer from postpartum depression? Research shows that about 80% of new mothers experience mood swings and weepiness during the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth. Sometimes, this is called “the baby blues.” This is a normal adjustment period for women and resolves itself without any medical assistance or therapy.
But, when these symptoms don’t resolve themselves it’s a sign you may be suffering from postpartum depression or PPD.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:
- Depressed mood
- Extreme mood swings
- Excessive crying or tearing up for little to no reason
- Changes in appetite: eating too much or too little
- Changes in sleep: sleeping too much or not at all
- Overwhelming exhaustion
- Little or no interest in the things you used to enjoy
- Irritability or anger
- Fear you’re a “bad mother”
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or inadequacy
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby*
- Thoughts of death or suicide*
* Please note, if you’ve thought about death, suicide, or harming yourself or your baby then you need to seek emergency medical help.
Did you know that 1 in 7 Moms and 1 in 10 Dads suffer from postpartum depression?
What is postpartum anxiety?
Postpartum anxiety is common. In fact, 10% of women experience postpartum anxiety. While some worry as a new parent is totally normal, overwhelming feelings of worry and dread may be a sign you have postpartum anxiety.
Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety:
- Constant worry or stress
- Worrying that something bad is going to happen
- Racing thoughts
- Changes in appetite: eating too much or too little
- Inability to fall or stay asleep
- Restlessness or inability to stay still
- Physical symptoms: increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, or nausia
Therapy Can Help You Overcome Perinatal Mood Disorders
These thoughts and symptoms are not uncommon with new parents. You are not alone and you can feel better. Therapy can be a supportive place to talk about how you are feeling without judgment. Often times parents are afraid that how they feel is not “normal” and others will judge them as bad parents. But, I assure you, our therapists won’t judge you. They have extensive training in perinatal mood disorders and can help you feel better.
Therapy can help you sort out your thoughts and confront any negative thinking. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), and other types of therapy, we can help you feel like yourself again. Online therapy in Indiana can be especially helpful to new moms because you don’t have to find childcare or leave the comfort of your home. Actually, you can attend therapy in your pajamas.
Did you know that Dads are affected by perinatal mood disorders too?
Dads are affected when their partner has a PMAD. Therapy for dads with a partner experiencing this can be helpful in figuring out how to support their partner while taking care of himself.
However, 1 in 10 dads will get a PMAD. This is less talked about and less understood in society. There is help for Dads as well. Dad can benefit from therapy by gaining support and understanding. They will feel less alone and learn tools to cope with the symptoms they’re experiencing. Counseling for a perinatal mood disorder will help them to start to feel like themselves and adjust to your new role as a Father.
Perinatal Mood Disorders Affect the Whole Family
PMADs don’t just affect individuals experiencing these symptoms. It also affects the couple and any other immediate family member.
A couple can benefit from therapy because PMADs affect communication and family roles. Often times, one partner has to step in more to help when their spouse is struggling. This can cause tension. So, it is helpful to have a neutral party to help to navigate emotionally charged conversations. Your therapist can also help your family develop a plan for coping with the PMAD together!
Counseling for Pregnancy or Infant Loss
Pregnancy or infant loss is something no parent wants to think about. And, if it happens to you, then you have to navigate your life while living with all consuming grief. Therapy can help sort through your thoughts and feelings while finding the best way for your family to remember and heal.
Other Perinatal Mood Disorder Resources:
You are not alone and you are not to blame. Postpartum Support International can help.
Available 24 hours a day, you will be asked to leave a confidential message and a trained and caring volunteer will return your call or text. They will listen, answer questions, offer encouragement and connect you with local resources as needed.
Perinatal Mood Disorder Support Groups
- St. Francis – contact: Jan Link, MS, LMFT, LCSW, LCAC at 317-782-6503
- Indiana University Health – contact: Tracey McInnes at 317-962-8191
Resources for Dads
Begin Perinatal counseling for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Greenwood, IN:
You don’t have to struggle in silence. It is courageous to ask for help if you’re struggling during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Our therapists are here to support you and your loved ones while you navigate these challenges. We will help you feel better and be able to enjoy life as a new mother or parent. To begin counseling in the Indianapolis area, follow these steps:
- Contact Renewed Hope Counseling Services, LLC
- Meet with one of our licensed perinatal therapists
- Learn how to cope with the symptoms you’re experiencing so you can be the parent you want to be.
Other Services Offered at Renewed Hope Counseling Services
In addition to perinatal counseling, our therapists offer a wide variety of cousneling services at our mental center center in Greenwood, IN. Also, we offer online therapy in Indiana to take care of your mental health needs if you can’t visit our office. Our therapy services include trauma treatment and PTSD treatment, depression counseling, anxiety treatment, EMDR, therapy for new mothers, couples therapy and marriage counseling, teen therapy, and family therapy. If you’re a mental health clinitian, some of our staff offer consultations and certification opportunities. Please reach out to our therapy clinic to learn more about the many ways we can help you thrive.