Dec 12, 2014
Depression: the number one complication of pregnancy.
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and after delivery may bring profound changes in a woman’s life. Moms may notice those changes as early as 6 weeks after conception and up to 16 months after delivery. Her mood can vacillate between sadness to elation, feeling fearful, helpless and restless, unable to sleep or unable to drag herself out of bed each day. This process is much like a roller coaster – feeling out of control while holding on for dear life – with a twist of the unexpected.
Visions of joy, love and excitement surround the announcement of a baby on the way. But the reality of a woman’s journey through this process may not be so rosy. Many times a pregnant or postpartum mom may feel disconnected, afraid, insecure and confused because her personal experiences do not align with the cultural messages of what to expect when expecting. That disconnect can lead to silence, shame and fear.
Signs and symptoms of concern:
- Feeling depressed or sad
- Having problems sleeping or eating
- Feeling irritated or angry
- Fatigue or restless
- Having scary thoughts
- Afraid you may harm your baby or yourself
- Unexplained mood swings
Motherhood is life changing to say the least and need not be lived in desperate isolation. Seeking help, support and education can be the key to finding hope for transitioning through to the other side. I have found in my practice that every mom’s journey is slightly different. Moms tell me that just being able share their fears, hopes and dreams can make all the difference in their world.
If you would like to find out more or know of someone who may need help, don’t stay quiet anymore. Begin the discussion that can bring understanding, faith and hope to a family in need.
Professional help may be needed to empower a mom and her family through this difficult time. Fear and worry can be laid to rest so that acceptance and peace of mind can lead the way.
Contact Laura Spera, LMFT Certified and Credentialed to treat Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, at The Well Clinical Counseling Center.
There’s research and knowledge to alleviate the pain.