This is supposed to be the happiest, most joyful time, right? Or, at least the “longest, shortest” time. Isn’t it? But, right now, it just feels long. And scary. It feels difficult in ways you didn’t think you could ever imagine when you (or, your partner) were pregnant. And, you’re not sure what to do. You’ve found yourself wondering…
- “Do I have postpartum depression?”
- “What is postpartum anxiety?”
- “Is it postpartum depression or baby blues?”
- “Can dads or partners get postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety?”
- “Where can I go for postpartum support?”
Postpartum Anxiety is Real
Perhaps, the scary, intrusive thoughts are keeping you awake at all hours. You finally get that sweet, precious baby to sleep, and suddenly all you can think about is their breath. So much so, that it takes your breath away. The panic of, “what if they stop breathing in the middle of the night?” sets in, and now you can’t breathe or focus on anything else. Let alone sleep. This cascades into wondering if the house is the right temperature. If the baby’s clothes are the proper fit. Are they gaining weight at the right pace? Is their daily routine just right? And, those are just the mild, not-as-scary thoughts. You know they can get much scarier and are horrified by the pictures your brain is coming up with.
Postpartum anxiety is one type of postpartum mood disorder (PMAD) that can turn up the volume and intensity on those scary, anxious thoughts. Then, those thoughts keep you from living your life in the fullest way possible. You start to adjust what you are doing or how you are caring for your baby. Perhaps, your family has taken notice and expressed their concern. Or, they are simply going along with your new requests. No matter what, you feel like something is probably not right, but you don’t know how to get the postpartum support you need.
Postpartum Depression Hurts
Perhaps, instead of the rushing waves of scary and anxious thoughts, you just feel blank. Numb. Detached. Your life is happening around you, but you aren’t a part of it. In fact, you sometimes wonder if everyone would be better off without you.
Common Symptoms of Postpartum Depression or Perinatal Depression:
- Decreased appetite
- Increased irritability
- Fear or rage
- Unexplained crying
- Intense mood swings
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty bonding with baby
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Is it Postpartum Depression or “Baby Blues”?
Most new moms experience “baby blues” after childbirth, which also involves mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. However, it does not last long. Baby blues typically begin within the first two to three days after birth. Further, baby blues last for up to two weeks.
Postpartum depression, however, often lasts much longer. Onset varies, and can even show up into the first year after birth. Postpartum depression, and other PMADs, can last through two years after a baby is born. And, partners and dads can get postpartum depression too.
Support with Postpartum Therapy Works
No matter what you are dealing with during this time, we can help. Your anxiety, depression, even OCD, can be managed. But, you might need some support for this. That is okay. Getting help for postpartum depression or anxiety does not make you a bad mom. It doesn’t make you a poor partner. In fact, getting the help you need is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family right now. More support now means a more present parent later. It can help your marriage or relationship during the postpartum period as well. And, the tools you get in therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression will help you through your parenting journey.
Begin Postpartum Counseling in Chicago, IL:
You’re left wondering “what’s next for me? What’s next for my family?” Our postpartum support specialists can help you during this time of transition. Your life will feel more balanced and grounded, giving you the confidence you need to feel like the parent you know you can be. Follow the steps below to get counseling in Chicago, IL or online therapy in Illinois:
- Contact us via our appointment request form.
- Meet with one of our experienced therapists.
- Experience relief from postpartum symptoms and feel more connected as a parent and partner.
Other Services at Flourish Counseling & Wellness:
Our Chicago-based practice provides online therapy in Chicago and beyond in the state of Illinois. We specialize in women’s counseling, specifically when it comes to reproductive support. Whether you are looking for counseling while pregnant or third-party reproduction support, our skilled therapists can meet your needs. And, we offer infertility counseling as well if you are struggling to get pregnant. If you and/or your partner are looking for support during the transition to parenthood, couples therapy can be a great resource. Further, our practice offers support groups and workshops if you’d like to connect with other women or parents. Wherever you are at, our Chicago therapists want to help you flourish.