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Pregnancy & Postpartum : FAQ

What are the baby blues?

Symptoms include tearfulness, rapid changes in emotion, and predominantly happy, self-esteem remains unchanged.

The baby blues affects 60-80% of new mothers.  It occurs due to hormone fluctuation at the time of birth coupled with acute sleep deprivation.  It lasts between 2 days and 2 weeks after birth, usually peaking 3-5 days after delivery.  If you experience symptoms for more than 2 weeks, this is not the baby blues

What are signs that I need to seek help for depression during pregnancy or after delivery?

Depressed mood most of the day, nearly everyday
Loss of interest, joy or pleasure
Significant weight change or appetite disturbance
Fatigue or loss of energy
Poor concentration, focus or indecisiveness 
Feelings of worthlessness
Excessive or inappropriate guilt
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts

What are signs that I need to seek help for anxiety during pregnancy or after delivery?

Excessive anxiety and worry often about one's health or baby's health
Difficulty controlling worry
Ruminating persistent thoughts
Agitation, irritability, can escalate to rage and then spiral to guilt or shame
Poor concentration
Restlessness, inability to sit still, feeling on edge
Easily fatigued, sleep disturbances
Muscle tension, heart palpitations, racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, GI distress
Fear of losing control or going crazy

What are signs that I need to seek help for obsessive-compulsive disorder during pregnancy or after delivery?

Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses usually of harm coming to the baby that are intrusive and unwanted and cause marked distress (i.e. what if my baby stops breathing, what if I drop the baby)
"What if" thinking
Tremendous guilt and shame
Horrified by these thoughts
Attempts to ignore or suppress thoughts, urges, or images or to neutralize them with some other thought or action
Engaging in repetitive behaviors that you feel driven to perform in response to obsessive thoughts
Behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress

What are the risks if I don't seek help for these symptoms?

Relationship problems
Poor adherence to medical care
Exacerbation of medical conditions
Separation or divorce
Loss of financial resources
Child neglect and abuse
Developmental delays/behavioral problems
Tobacco, alcohol and substance use
Infanticide, homicide or suicide

Why do I feel like such a terrible mother? I feel like I'm not doing what I should be doing.

This is one of the most common questions I get from mothers with kids of all ages! There are many individual reasons why you may be experiencing these feelings. However, a lot of the time these feelings stem from expectations and assumptions that we have as mothers and as a society. 


Being a mother is instinctual

Breastfeeding will come easy

I will find time for me

Good mothers don't take breaks

I won't need anyone. I've got this!

My baby will sleep all the time

I will be a superwoman, partner, and/or mother

I will continue being the same person I was before having kids

How can you help me?

Research indicates that one in every five to seven women will experience a perinatal or postpartum mood or anxiety disorder.  I treat presenting symptoms using evidence-based treatments for perinatal and postpartum disorders.  Together we work to formulate a plan that will help you identify self-care routines and coping skills that get you back to feeling like yourself again.

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