The transition into Motherhood is an extremely overwhelming time. People say you have 9 months to prepare, though in reality no one is prepared until they are experiencing the day by day with their newborn. Expectations can cause a false belief of what having a baby should be like and women are quickly disappointed. The feelings that arise during the transition into Motherhood are common, but can often feel isolating and include anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, and shame. The feelings can contribute to the development of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, which are a classification of symptoms that occur during the pregnancy and postpartum period. Your feelings are real and they matter.
Here are some comments and questions from women who sought services during the perinatal period:
- People said it was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize it was going to be this hard.
- I thought I was cut out to be a Mother, but now I am not so sure.
- All that I can hear in my mind is that I am a terrible Mother.
- I don’t want to repeat everything my parents did to me.
- Why didn’t I feel a connection to my baby when I first held him?
- I don’t see how my partner and I get through this without getting a divorce.
- I’m failing my child because breastfeeding is not working.
- I spent so much time trying not to get pregnant and now we are ready and my body is not working.
Through therapy you can develop skills to:
- Manage your anxiety around caring for your baby
- Experience and welcome all of your feelings without judgment
- Identify your needs and wants
- Manage feelings around bonding with the baby, feeding your baby, and sleep difficulties
- Explore and integrate your role as a Mother into your identity
- Notice and challenge negative self-talk
- Navigate changes in the relationship with your partner
- Set healthy boundaries with family and friends
- Make the most of time with a lack of time
- Balance your personal and professional life
- Cope and process birth trauma