Many new moms struggle with intense onset of depression. Many mothers prepare for a wide range of feelings and experiences after giving birth; they plan to be excited and energized by their newborn as well as sleep deprived and stressed. However, feeling depressed after childbirth was not in the plan. The symptoms of depression look different for each person and the way you experience postpartum depression will be unique to you. Doctors and midwives now ask about the factors of postpartum depression at the 6-8 week check up. If your doctor has nudged you to try therapy it makes sense to think about creative psychotherapy to care for your postpartum depression.
Some effects of postpartum depression are: lack of interest in normal daily activities; low energy; irritability; low mood; feelings of shame, worthlessness, and hopelessness; exhaustion; uncontrollable crying; low/no sex drive; increased worry/anxiety; poor self care; ideations/worry of self harm or of harming the baby; fear of rejection by partner; insomnia; isolation; and low appetite/excessive eating.
Though the cause of postpartum depression is not yet understood, there are risk factors that could play into the above feelings, behaviors, or situations. Hormones or lack of vitamins might cause this form of depression. It can also be triggered by past or present tension in the family or couple, an unstable living environment, single motherhood, grief, trouble with breast feeding or using formula, birth trauma, lack of community or in home supports, medical issues or other stressors.
It’s important to understand that each person experiences depression differently. Your depression needs to be understood in terms that make sense to you and are part of you and your personal experience. When you hear the word “depressed,” what does that mean to you? What sort of experiences are you having with your child? What do you experience physically? What are your supports (or lack of) with your partner, family, or community? How have past life experiences impacted this new life stage? How does it feel to be a mother? How are you feeling about maternity leave, changing jobs, or leaving the workforce?
How can Tribeca Therapy help?
Exploring your answers to these questions is the best way to understand your postpartum depression and figure out how to get the treatment that works for you and your family. At Tribeca Therapy, we offer collaboration and creativity to this process. We work from a non-diagnostic approach to therapy which includes talking, building a relationship with your therapist, and working through the depression.
We will partner and work together to create an environment in which you as a mother can feel movement and growth. This may include getting your partner or other caregivers involved in the treatment. Perhaps we’ll need to look at concrete challenges like sleep and self-care that may be contributing to the postpartum depression. While your experience has a name, and while postpartum depression is experienced by many other moms, your experience is particular to you and needs a custom, carefully guided response.
Can I bring my baby to therapy?
Absolutely! Especially getting started that might be just what you need to get good help. For one thing, working with you together with your baby will allow your therapist to support you in your important work of caring for your little one with him or her right there in the room. What’s important is that we’ll make the therapy work for you, with a focus on giving you what you need.
Individual, Couples, or Group therapy?
Individual therapy can give you a unique place to start where you are at, talk through what factors of depression you are experiencing, create a partnership with therapist and make a plan to get through this time. As we work together we may want to bring in other key players in your life to help understand, partner, or work with you around caring for depression. This may look like couples therapy, family therapy, or group therapy.