By Caitlin Winkler, PLPC
The excitement of a new baby compares to almost nothing else in this world. Parents dream of the baby growing inside: what he or she might look like, the type of personality the little one may have, and all the wonderful experiences to come with the bundle of joy. What happens when what we picture as the perfect, most wonderful time of our lives turns out not to live up to our expectations?
Pregnancy and postpartum mental health issues are more common than you might think. Anxiety, depression, a heavy sense of being overwhelmed, and even grief are normal after the birth of a child. There are times, however, when these feelings are more than just passing emotions. About 15% of women experience some sort of clinical mental health issue during this stage of life. These conditions can begin during pregnancy, immediately after giving birth, or within the first few months after the arrival of your new baby. They may last a few weeks or even up to a year.
5 signs you may be dealing with postpartum anxiety or depression:
Many parents can write off the intense emotions as "just adjusting" or "completely normal." Though this can be true, don't be afraid to ask your doctor or counselor questions. A new baby is a wonderful thing, but the physical, emotional, and mental demands can be extremely taxing. Seek out help! This is best for you, your partner, and your child!
Self-assessment tool (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale):
Learn more from the American Psychological Association:
Caitlin Winkler is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor at Unlimited Potential Counseling & Education Center in O’Fallon. Caitlin is under the clinical supervision of Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC (MO #2012026754).