This concern deserves it’s own section as Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (often referred to as Postpartum Depression) afflict approximately 20% of all women at some point in the first year postpartum (Wisner, KL. JAMA Psychiatry, March 2013). Anxiety and depression often occur during pregnancy (antepartum) and not just postpartum.
Fathers can also suffer from mood and anxiety changes during the perinatal/postpartum period. In addition to adjusting to the many family changes a new baby brings about, research has shown that men can experience hormonal changes during this period that can affect their mood (Paulson, JF and Bazemore, SD. JAMA, May 2010).
Many families suffer in silence because they assume that their sad or numb feelings and sometimes relentless worries are “normal” after having a baby. They may think “everyone else can do this without help, why can’t I?” The truth of the matter is that many parents are suffering and not getting the support they need during this important time of bonding and forming a secure attachment with your infant.
For families struggling with these adjustments after having a baby, I offer individual and/or couples therapy sessions to support parents and help them find ways to reduce their depressive and anxious symptoms. These sessions can be solely for the parent, or they can include the baby’s presence in order to more fully address the depression and anxiety’s impact on the parent-child bond. Together, we can determine which best meets your needs at this time.