Perinatal Depression & Anxiety say:
“I’m a terrible mother, I can’t do this”
“My partner doesn’t understand how hard this is for me”
“What if my baby dies in their sleep?”
“You don’t understand just how bad I feel”
“I wanted this baby so badly, I shouldn’t complain”
“I feel so out of control with worries”
The perinatal period (which encompasses both the prenatal and postpartum experience) is a time of great change. Changes to the women’s body, her priorities, the relationship, career, lifestyle, etc. We often focus on the exciting and happy parts of creating a family, which too often leaves little space to honor how much having a baby drastically changes one’s life. Imagine having just one big change to your career, lifestyle, or relationship, and now imagine all of those aspects of your life that usually keep you grounded are now in flux. It should come as no surprise that approximately 1 in 7 women, and 1 in 10 partners, will experience a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) (Canadian Psychological Association).
There are so many people who don’t meet all the criteria for a PMAD diagnosis, and yet still suffer with anxiety and depression symptoms. So if you are a new parent and are feeling overwhelmed or your mood/emotions are getting in the way being able to function, please know that you are not alone. And there are resources to support you.
Therapy can help by:
(a) Assessing the severity of your symptoms and assessing what seems “normal” or “typical” for you with this big life change.
(b) Providing tools and strategies to help you and your partner better cope.
(c) Providing further mental health referrals if necessary.
Normalizes the challenging transition into parenthood. Many new parents think they’ll be able to do it all. The “supermom” and “superdad” myths keep parents stuck in a loop of constantly thinking they can do better/do more, and then feeling down on themselves when they realize they aren’t a perfect “super-parent”. Alexandra works with new parents to build compassion for themselves in a time period where there is so much change.
Recognizes familiar patterns. Our relationship with our emotional self begins to develop in childhood and adolescence - quite often emotional challenges that are showing up today are actually old/familiar messages from childhood being triggered by current stressors (like having a new baby).
Explores the roots of where depression and anxiety are originating from. There is a power in understanding WHY your body & mind are doing what they’re doing.
Teaches new ways of coping. We’ll examine what you’re already doing to support yourself (you may not be aware of it yet, but there’s always something helpful you’re already doing for yourself). We’ll also explore new “tools” to add to your “coping toolbox” - these will be customized because it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of deal.