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5 Reasons to See a Counselor for the Postpartum Period

How Counseling Can Help You Cope with Postpartum Depression

Motherhood brings joy, love, challenges and complexity into a woman's life. The first few weeks after childbirth can be an especially difficult time, filled with new adjustments and physical changes. Here are five ways counseling can help you cope with these changes, alter unhealthy thinking patterns and embrace motherhood with open arms.

You can normalize your feelings. Experienced therapists know that even though postpartum depression affects countless women, every person's experience can be vastly different. Empowered by this understanding, your therapist will help you discover any underlying issues that could be contributing to your postpartum depression. Using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the therapist can help you normalize your feelings by reprogramming unwanted habits of feeling, thinking and doing. The clear and structured steps used in CBT make it an effective solution for an array of varying emotional challenges.

It can be a lifesaver. During and after pregnancy, women experience normal symptoms such as fatigue and appetite changes which are often related to lifestyle adaptations. These factors can affect a new mom's overall mental well-being. In certain instances, however, new moms may experience troubling postpartum symptoms such as:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty caring for their babies or themselves
  • Intense fatigue
  • Insomnia, restlessness or hyperactivity
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoid thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Communication difficulties
  • Anxiety and/or panic attacks

In serious instances, postpartum symptoms can cause women to experience significant feelings of negativity, including thoughts about harming themselves or their babies. A skilled therapist can help new moms unravel their feelings so they can make peace with motherhood and any confusing, frightening or overwhelming feelings that come with it.

You can adapt more effectively. While the birth of a child brings hope and happiness, it can also bring specific challenges. Women may experience changes in relationships and a shifting sense of self. They may also experience interpersonal deficits and disputes centering on intimacy struggles, unmet expectations and role transitions. A counselor can help a new mom navigate these new uncertain waters using a variety of proven techniques designed to identify cognitive distortions and develop strategies for coping with new challenges.

You can avoid missing out. Without treatment, postpartum depression can persist for weeks, months or even years. During this time, your symptoms could remain the same or become more severe over time. This can cause you to needlessly suffer relationship issues and miss out on all the joys of your baby's first year. In the vast majority of instances, therapy can help a woman recover from postpartum depression. Although it won't happen overnight, recovery is possible. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will start to feel like you again.

You can be there for your child. While you may strive to be a perfect mother, postpartum difficulties can make things feel overwhelming and impossible. By reaching out for help, you can take steps toward recovery so you can be the caring, nurturing mom your child deserves. It can be hard to make that first step, especially if you have written off your feelings as something you just need to "get over." When you acknowledge your struggle with postpartum, you can escape the despair, fatigue and anxiety by seeking support from a caring professional who understands what you are going through.

Our caring therapists can help you overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!