Supporting your emotional healing during pregnancy and postpartum months
The journey into parenthood has challenged you in many ways. From a difficult pregnancy, a traumatic delivery, anxious nights, and struggles to attach to your newborn, the past few months have not been what you expected. You feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster and have no sense of control.
If the above description has been your experience, please know that you are not alone. The clients I see are capable individuals whose lives have been overturned by their pregnancies and postpartum experience. This is not an uncommon situation. About 1 in 7 women and 1 in 10 men will experience emotional struggles during the perinatal (prenatal/postpartum) months.
Counselling can help.
Whether you are at the start of your pregnancy, in your postpartum years, or considering having children, therapy can provide a safe space to process these overwhelming emotions. We will use evidence-based therapies like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) to support your needs. Through counselling, you can have the skills to cope with difficult experiences. You can safely address emotional wounds and process traumatic events.
Pregnancy and postpartum months are meant to be an exciting and joyous time in your life. While you may not feel content right now, things can get better. Your current state of distress does not have to be a permanent state. Your relationship with your child can shift, and your sense of peace can return.
You can feel confident as you head forward into parenthood.
Being pregnant and having a baby can be incredibly exciting. Or, it can be the hardest time in your life. When you bring in a combination of hormonal changes, poor sleep, limited energy, and physical discomfort, you are bound to experience some distress. I work to support parents’ mental health throughout these life-changing months.
How might mental health show up during this time?
- Difficult Birth/Pregnancy: You are unable to stop thinking about negative events surrounding a traumatic birth or difficult pregnancy. e.g. NICU visits, miscarriages, fertility struggles, elective abortions
- Traumatic childhood experiences: Raising a child can trigger us to reflect on our own traumatic childhood experiences.
- Intrusive thoughts: E.g. thoughts of harming the baby or yourself. Voicing these thoughts to a therapist does NOT mean a call to the Children’s Aid Society. Intrusive thoughts are very common with Postpartum-OCD and can be treated.
- Low self-confidence: E.g. questioning your ability to parent well, feeling other parents are “doing better” than you, struggles to balance work and home life.
- Creating attachment with baby: A common struggle with postpartum depression is the difficulty in bonding with your baby.
- Anxiety: Worries about your upcoming delivery, parenting skills, the health of the baby or how others may perceive you are some of the common anxieties that are present during pregnancy and postpartum months.
- Adjustment Struggles: Learning to manage your sense of Self (your unique needs, personality traits, interests, etc.) while also balancing the responsibilities of parenthood.
- Grief and loss: E.g. Miscarriages, still births and unsuccessful IVF treatment
- Family Adjustments: Meeting the emotional needs of multiple family members. Setting boundaries with family members.
Whether it is a single incident, or a number of difficult life experiences, you have the ability to heal from trauma. Trauma refers to experiencing or witnessing a deeply disturbing event. Common consequences of trauma include: nightmares, increased anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, trust issues, numbing.
Traumatic memories, when left unattended, can make us resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms (i.e. substance use, emotional eating, avoidance). At Kasi Shan Therapy, you are able to work through these wounds in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. I incorporate effective therapeutic modalities like EMDR, Internal Family Systems Therapy, CBT and DBT to support you in your healing journey.
Adolescence is an exciting and beautiful time where teens experience more independence, figure out relationships, and discover who they would like to become. While I wish every adolescent had a stress-free life, this is not always the case. Trauma can impact anyone, irrespective of age, finances, race, or family upbringing. Experiences like car accidents, sexual abuse, or bullying can cause an adolescent to change. You may notice your teenager starting to withdraw, express increased irritability or resort to scarier forms of coping (e.g. self-harm or substance use). My goal in therapy is to work with youth to create a safe space to talk and work through these hardships. I bring parents into the therapy sessions when the youth is ready so that long-lasting changes can occur.
Growth occurs when individuals confront problems, struggle to master them, and through that struggle develop new aspects of their skills, capacities, views about life.
How do I begin my healing?
- Arrange a time for a free consultation (we can do this online or via phone/email).
- During this chat, we will get to know one another. You will have space to express your treatment goals, and also clarify if you feel I am a good fit for you as a therapist.
- We establish a treatment plan that feels comfortable for you, and we begin the work
- We continue working at a pace that is effective and challenging until your goals are met