1 in 7 women experience serious depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum. The year before and after having a baby can be full of joy and it can also be stressful, overwhelming and emotional. In addition, women’s bodies are going through tremendous changes which affect everything from our hormones to our sleep. On top of that, your whole life is changing. The good news is that all of these symptoms are temporary and treatable.
with Charlotte Women's Counseling, we are here to help! Let’s start by talking about some factors that may increase your risk for prenatal or postnatal depression or anxiety, and then talk about steps you can take to reduce your risk, improve your mood and eliminate your worry and anxiety.
AM I AT RISK? Check the statements that are true for you:
It’s hard for me to ask for help. I usually take care of myself.
Before my periods, I usually get sad, angry, or very cranky.
I’ve been depressed or anxious in the past.
I have been depressed or anxious when I’m pregnant.
My mother, sister, or aunt was depressed or very nervous after her baby was born.
Sometimes I don’t need sleep, have lots of ideas, and it’s hard to slow down.
My family is far away and I feel lonely.
I don’t have many friends nearby that I can rely on.
I am pregnant right now and I don’t feel happy about it.
I don’t have the money, food, or housing that I need.
Checking more than two items in the above list suggests that you have risk factors for depression or anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum. With help, all of these symptoms are temporary and treatable.
WHAT CAN I DO TO FEEL BETTER?
Many women feel like they can’t talk about the symptoms and feelings they’re experiencing. Women may feel alone and afraid that that they’re a “bad mom.” But, there is no shame in asking for help. As the old adage says “it takes a village to raise a child” and this should apply to us as women as well. You don’t have to do this alone. Here’s a few tips to help you start to feel better.
Get more quality sleep
Get out and do the things that bring you joy – even if you don’t feel joyful
Spend time with friends and family
Mindfulness & meditation
Eat healthy foods
Seek counseling. Individual therapy can help alleviate symptoms and get you back to feeling like yourself again.
When you’re feeling depressed and anxious it can be really hard to do the things listed above. It can be a struggle to take the steps you know will help you to feel better. If you’re unsure how serious your symptoms are and/or you think therapy would be helpful for you, contact us today, we’d be happy to talk you through this.
Here are some additional online resources from Postpartum Support International:
Post written by Shawna Lauer, LMFT Book online with her today!