Maternal Mental Health Services In New Milford, CT

It’s OK to talk about it!

When you hear the words pregnancy and childbirth, you may envision joyful celebrations, smiling families, giggling babies, and most of all, a happy mother. Societal standards make us believe that welcoming a new baby is always exciting and beautiful, but that is often not the case. It is common for women to experience sadness, guilt, or no emotion at all following the birth of their child. Many women feel unempowered and alone.
But the truth is, you are not alone. Every day women question ‘what is wrong with me’, and every day, those same women find the help they need to overcome their doubts. While your situation is unique, the feelings of depression and anxiety are common among postpartum women. In fact, one in seven women suffers from some form of a postpartum mental health concern. Professionals all over- from medical doctors to researchers to therapists- dedicate their work to support women with these concerns.
Maternal mental health is so important, and you most likely have questions about what it is and what to expect. The information below will help you get a better idea and guide you towards the next step in improving your mental health.

WHAT IS MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH?

To put it simply, maternal mental health is mental health for women with children. This applies to any stage of child-rearing, including pregnancy. There are times when women experience depression and anxiety as a result of becoming pregnant, giving birth, or caring for their child. There are also times when mothers feel misunderstood by their partner or family as they embark on raising a new baby. Traumatic pregnancy, labor, or delivery can have a tremendous impact on your recovery, both physical and emotional. Surrounding yourself with loved ones is a good way to boost mental health. But when that is not enough, you may find yourself seeking professional support. We at New Milford Counseling Center know that judgment-free support is vital to you feeling yourself again. When you are able to voice your thoughts, we can work to improve your state of mind.

DOES SEEKING HELP MAKE ME A BAD PARENT?

Our culture assumes that childcare should be inherently easy for women. This can lead to worry that if we do not immediately know how to best care for our child, we have failed as a parent. There is nothing further from the truth. Very few things are truly inherent to us. Parenting is a difficult task that, like anything complicated, takes time to master. Never be ashamed of feeling overwhelmed or unsure. When you seek help, you seek a better life for yourself, your family, and your baby. Maternal mental health is family mental health. Above all, remember that you are not alone and that resources exist to empower you in your journey towards good mental health.

WHAT ARE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?

Postpartum depression and anxiety women may experience before or after childbirth. When occurring during pregnancy, these disorders are called perinatal depression and anxiety. Postpartum depression shares many symptoms with major depressive disorder; including changes in appetite, feelings of hopelessness, and, in some cases, thoughts of suicide. Postpartum anxiety shares similarities with generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms include racing thoughts, a constant feeling that something is wrong, and restlessness. 
Postpartum depression is often diagnosed with the help of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale. The scale was developed by John Cox and Jeni Holden and is used worldwide to help identify women who may be suffering from postpartum depression. It is a 10 question, self-administered test at the bottom of this page. You can download and fill out a copy and bring it to your first session to discuss it with your therapist.
Postpartum depression and anxiety are common psychiatric diagnoses following childbirth, but that does not make them the only postpartum disorders. There are also postpartum PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), psychosis, and bipolar disorder. These disorders vary in severity but are manageable with the right professional help.

HOW DO YOU DEVELOP POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?

There is no one exact cause for either diagnosis, but researchers have found a few overarching causes:
• Depression or anxiety existing prior to having a child
• A traumatic experience during pregnancy, childbirth, or immediately after
• Hormonal changes
• Increased stress
• Increased expectations from yourself or other family members
• Exhaustion
Women with postpartum depression and anxiety develop these disorders for unique reasons, and as such, should be treated accordingly. When seeking help, it is imperative to find a professional who listens to your stories and your experiences. A recovery plan tailored to your personal needs empowers you now and in the future.

It can be scary to seek help. By reading this page you have already taken a huge step towards finding relief. Be proud of yourself! If and when you are ready, feel free to contact New Milford Counseling Center at 860-740-2228.  You can speak directly to Rebecca, our maternal mental health therapist, or contact her via confidential email at [email protected]

You are not alone. 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression and anxiety.

Reasons Women Experience Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

• Hormonal changes • Exhaustion • Overwhelming expectations from others or yourself • Complications in pregnancy or childbirth • Physical and emotional factors related to recovery from C-section Taking the time to care for yourself in a safe space can help to work through these and other challenges. As a result, you can feel better and more available to meet your child’s needs.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a 10-question self-administered screening tool developed by John Cox and Jeni Holden and used worldwide that helps to recognize women who might be suffering from postpartum depression. You can download a copy of it right here. You can fill out this screening tool and print it to review at your first session.

Call us anytime to talk about the struggles you are experiencing around postpartum depression and maternal mental health. We can determine the best steps forward to help you feel better. You can reach Rebecca our Maternal Mental Health therapist directly by sending a confidential email to her at [email protected] or call her at (860)740-2228 ext 1

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