As exciting as childbearing can be, it can come with serious mental health consequences. Some women who choose to become mothers experience anxiety or depression for the first time during pregnancy, or after delivery as postpartum depression or anxiety. Other women seek therapy if they chose to have children but struggle with fertility or miscarriage. Still others are faced with the devastation of a stillbirth or the loss of an infant. All of these issues can benefit from the help of a licensed psychologist with specialty training in perinatal mental health. Here’s some of the work that I do:
Therapy for Fertility Issues
Fertility treatments like IUI and IVF involve a rollercoaster of hoping, waiting, and testing — not to mention a rollercoaster of hormones. You might be feeling fear or sadness about what your future will look like if it’s not how you envisioned; anger that everyone around you seems to be pregnant; or frustration at the countless blood tests, ultrasounds, shots, and doctor bills. It can help to talk in a safe, nonjudgmental space about how all of this is affecting you and your relationships.
Therapy during Pregnancy
It’s normal to be nervous during pregnancy: becoming a parent or bringing another child into your family is a huge, life-altering choice that naturally stirs up some fears and other emotions. Those feelings are important, not least because they affect how you will parent your newborn. Therapy during or before pregnancy can help you prepare for your experience of parenthood.
Therapy for Postpartum Depression or Anxiety
Postpartum depression and anxiety can be ferocious, and they are also very common: postpartum depression affects about 15% of new mothers; postpartum anxiety affects 10%. Fortunately, postpartum depression and anxiety usually respond well to treatment. As a licensed psychologist with specialty training in perinatal mental health, I have experience helping women recover from these conditions.
Therapy for Infant Loss
If you have lost an infant, or if your child has been given a diagnosis that is not compatible with life, you might need someone to talk to: someone who has worked with these losses before and who knows about all decisions you’re forced to make. We can talk through the logistics — like how to inform family and friends, or how to pick a burial service — as well as the feelings of pain, anger, or numbness, and the consequences of this devastating loss for your relationships and your sense of self.