New Parent Adjustment
Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing opportunities in life, but it can also be very scary, lonely and did I mention crazy! I have a lot of experience working with both pregnant women and new moms from my time at Kaiser’s women’s health clinic. It also doesn’t hurt that I am a parent myself and have waded through the craziness of new parenthood a few times, including a baby with acid reflux and colic.
Parenthood is a huge adjustment, and although has a lot of ups, it can also have a good deal of downs. Oftentimes, talking about our frustrations, realizing we are not alone, and learning to prioritize yourself and time with your partner can be very helpful. A solid support system is also critical and doesn’t have to mean having family close by. I can help you with local referrals and ideas to build or increase your current support system. As the old adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child!
Postpartum depression is the ugly elephant in the room that few people talk about and subsequently many women suffer in silence due to shame. Postpartum depression is very real and effects approximately 20% of new moms. If you have previously had depression or anxiety, it puts you at a higher risk for developing postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Society says we are supposed to love every minute of being a mom, but reality says motherhood can be incredibly taxing between no sleep, feeding the baby every 2 hours, changing diapers, doing laundry, trying to figure out why the baby is crying and worrying if you are a good mom. It doesn’t help that your hormones are all over the place and everyone else seems to have it so together.
Postpartum depression or anxiety can be treated, especially with early intervention. If left untreated, it can often persist for months, or even in some cases, years. My approach is to take a thorough history of what is going on and find out what your specific needs are and then provide resources and coping strategies to address your needs. I am also happy to collaborate with your Ob/Gyn. If you are finding yourself in this boat, you are not alone and I would love the opportunity to work with you!
* Please note, although many moms enjoy the break from their baby, if needed you are welcome to bring your baby with you!