Prenatal & Postpartum Anxiety and Depression (PMD)
I am one of a handful of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety / PMD specialists in Broward County certified by Postpartum Support International (PSI). If you’re looking for a therapist in this area or in another, please review their listings or the ones on PostpartumProgress.net. Find a therapist who is knowledgeable about post-partum depression and anxiety and the unique factors that affect mothers who are struggling.
PMD Feels Like . . . A truck hit you . . .
The baby’s crying, you feel like a truck hit you . . .
PMD can feel overwhelming at a time when everyone expects you to be happy. During pregnancy, some anxiety is normal. But if it gets to an unmanageable level, then you need to get some help. Prenatal depression or anxiety is a risk factor for Postpartum adjustment difficulties and more serious PMD.
There’s a difference between the “baby blues” and a more serious PMD. Pretty much everyone goes through a time where they’re adjusting to having a new baby in the house. You may be tearful and sad and your mood may swing pretty drastically even within the same day (o.k., the same hour!). That’s all pretty normal. It takes a couple of weeks for all of your hormones to regulate again. So give yourself some time. But some women know immediately that it’s beyond “normal.” It feels different. They don’t have the moments of happiness anywhere in the day or it may feel heavier. Depression often feels like it’s descending on you.
PMD can hit anytime within the first year after giving birth. It affects about 9%-16% or 1 in 7 of women and is due to a complex mix of factors, some hormonal, some life stressors (ex., relationships, financial stress, pre-term birth).
Treatment can help
Hypnosis and psychotherapy can help the mother actually enjoy motherhood, have more patience, and have less anxiety (and more sleep!). It also helps lessen the effects of PMD on the baby. PMD is highly treatable and a woman can feel better quickly, usually within a couple of weeks of starting treatment. If you or a loved one is experiencing PMD, get help as soon as possible so that you can be on your way to a happier motherhood. Call me for a free consultation at 943-309-9071.
You can bring your baby to session.
I want you to know that you can bring your baby into session with you. You can change a diaper in session, nurse in session, walk and pace to keep the baby sleeping. Whatever it is you need to do, babies in arms (that means pre-crawling) are welcome in session.
Or you can leave your baby home
Sometimes, especially when you have postpartum depression / PMD, you just want to get away for a while. Even an hour or two can make a huge difference in the way that you feel and your energy reserves. It’s o.k. to feel like that. Let me say it again. It’s o.k. to feel like leaving the baby. Those are normal feelings that every mother has which sometimes get intensified when postpartum depression / PMD hits.
Below are symptoms of postpartum depression (PMD):
- Depressed mood, tearfulness, hopelessness, and feeling empty inside, with or without severe anxiety.
- Crying for “no reason” all the time
- Loss of pleasure in either all or almost all of your daily activities.
- Feeling irritable, angry, or nervous
- Appetite and weight change-usually a drop in appetite and weight, but sometimes the opposite.
- Sleep problems-usually trouble with sleeping, even when your baby is sleeping.
- Noticeable change in how you walk and talk-usually restlessness, but sometimes sluggishness.
- Extreme fatigue or loss of energy.
- Lack of interest in the baby or in friends and family
- Feeling hopeless
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, with no reasonable cause.
- Feeling as if you are a “bad” mother
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
- Thoughts about death or suicide. Some women with PMD have fleeting, frightening thoughts of harming their babies. These thoughts tend to be fearful thoughts, rather than urges to harm.