Postpartum Depression, Baby Blues & Postpartum Adjustment Counseling
Up to 16% of women experience postpartum depression that is severe enough to be diagnosed separately that “Baby Blues”. Postpartum depression is characterized by a longerperiod of emotional changes and disturbance, and may show more symptoms than the more common baby blues.
Counseling for postpartum depression is important because it helps the whole family be healthier and adjust more effectively to the arrival of the new baby. With a newborn baby it can certainly be a challenge to find time for therapy, but even just a few sessions can make a big difference.
Postpartum depression symptoms
- Loss of Appetite
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Anxiety and/or Fears
- Mood Swings
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Feeling Hopeless
- Feeling that your child is better off without you
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Problems Concentrating
- Lack of joy in life
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Thoughts of harming your baby
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Feelings of shame or guilt
Left untreated, postpartum depression can have severe consequences, so it is important to receive an evaluation by a mental health professional who is specifically trained in postpartum depression and can recommend the best course of treatment for you or your loved one. (For three years, I oversaw a research lab at Florida Atlantic University that specifically studied maternal depression). Postpartum depression can have many causes, or a combination of causes, so effective treatment should be customized to each individual and their unique situation.
Baby Blues is experienced by up to 80% of women in the postpartum period. It can include many of the symptoms of postpartum depression, but it is much short in duration (a few weeks) and often, the symptoms of baby blues are less severe than the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Baby Blues Symptoms
- Mood Swings
- Weepiness or Crying
- Concentration Problems
In general, baby blues tend to resolve on their own and in most cases require no treatment. But it’s a good idea to get an evaluation by a qualified psychotherapist or psychiatrist just in case. Plus, with a psychotherapist, even if your baby blues are not severe, you will still benefit from having a few sessions to help with your postpartum adjustment.
Postpartum Adjustment Counseling
Having a baby is a wild ride! There are so many things no one ever tells you about! From the pregnancy challenges, to the stress and trauma of the delivery, to the sleepless nights, the acid reflux, the colic….not to mention your identity changes as a woman and possible changes in your relationship.
It’s much easier to make an effective adjustment to your new role and life with some professional guidance. In postpartum adjustment counseling, you’ll learn what’s normal and what’s not, new skills and ideas for coping with your baby and your new life, received psychological support, and have a place to let out and discuss your emotions.
Help for Depression – Feel Good Again!
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Dr. Chantal Gagnon
Dr. Chantal Marie Gagnon, Ph.D., LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, relationship counselor, and life coach in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Gagnon provides individual therapy, family counseling services, and couples therapy in her Plantation, FL office. Coaching services are available nationwide.
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