New motherhood is a challenging time. High expectations, social pressures, isolation and loss of identity combined with sleep deprivation and hormonal instability contribute to mood instability and emotional vulnerability. If you are struggling in your transition to motherhood, I encourage you to reach out for support.
Postpartum Mood Disorders are very common. Up to 85% of new mothers experience what is referred to as the "baby blues." Many women also suffer from Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Anxiety. In fact, studies show that as many as 1 in 5 meet the criteria for a diagnosis of a postpartum mood disorder. If you or a family member are concerned, I provide an evaluation and treatment. You do not need to suffer alone. With help, this will pass.
I have been clinically trained in Postpartum Mood Disorders from Postpartum Support International and Postpartum Action Institute. Two pioneers and leaders in the field of Postpartum Mood Disorders, Jane Honikman, MS and Dr. Shoshana S. Bennett, have personally trained and mentored me and deeply impact my practice.
I co-founded Mothers' Wellness of Marin to provide resources to support new mothers in our community. We offer postpartum wellness check-ins, classes, screening and treatment of Postpartum Mood Disorders, home-based support, nutritional services, postpartum Pilates and pelvic floor rehabilitation, as well as guided discussions and educational programs for mothers groups.
Motherhood can bring with it a whole suitcase of complicated baggage and challenges. Relationship and identity issues, work-life balance, anxiety, depression, perfectionism, self-esteem, body image issues, anger, and stress are all issues that you may have felt able to manage prior to your new role. However, once you become a mother, these emotional vulnerabilities can feel unmanageable for many women. A complicated relationship with your own mother or unaddressed trauma further complicate any difficulty adjusting to this new role.
Life transitions present challenges, yet simultaneously provide an opportunity for change and growth. Issues that you may have been able to ignore or suppress may now be shouting, “I’m here!” There is no better time to address issues that have risen to the surface with motherhood. Together we will work to make positive change happen in your life, in your relationships, in your self.
Our childhoods leave an impression on us. We often want to repeat our experiences or provide our children with the opposite of what we received. Our parents provided a model, good or bad, and these familiar patterns are not easy to change. We often need help breaking negative patterns to provide our children with a better childhood.
Regardless of your own experiences, parenting is hard! Kids push our buttons, hold us accountable, and challenge us in ways we don’t expect. The most important thing we can do to feel more successful as parents is to acknowledge the work we need to do and do it. If we are committed to self-improvement, recognizing our weaknesses and building on our strengths, then our children will want to do the same. They will learn not only from our words, but be motivated and inspired by our example. I truly believe that every mother is doing the best that she can, yet with support she is able to grow as a person and as a parent.