A personal story from Lauren, Founder and Primary Therapist at MHWW
My daughter was about a week old and we were home from the hospital. I remember sitting up in bed worrying about whether I would be able to strap her into her car seat once my husband went back to work. Saying this out loud seems so silly to me now. In fact, I actually forgot about it until I began thinking about this particular section of the website and how I wanted to educate others on the importance of perinatal mental health, specifically the postpartum period. I distinctly remember how my husband was the one to complete the consultation with the car seat specialist at the hospital, as I was resting and healing. We were finally home and I realized I did not know how to strap the baby in or install the car seat on my own. What was I going to do? Could I do this? I felt so alone. Thinking back on this not so distant, yet painful, memory reminds me of how vulnerable the postpartum period can be. Now strapping my daughter into her car seat is practically second nature and I feel very confident in my skills but it just confirms how that piercing thought and fear once felt so raw and painful. And it is hard for anyone else to convince you otherwise because they haven't just experienced what you have (i.e. the hormonal changes, labor and delivery, the healing process, to name a few!). I realize now how much I struggled with postpartum anxiety. And to be honest, it ebbs and flows! Some days you will worry about things that in two days seem ridiculous - that is anxiety! It is important to understand that sometimes the flip side of that anxiety can trigger feelings of anger, increased episodes of crying, feeling disconnected from baby or feelings of not being good enough (not being a good enough mom specifically). These feelings can be an indicator that you might be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.
It feels like no one really talks about this, right? Did you know, according to the CDC, that as many as 1 in 5 women can experience postpartum depression. These feelings can also show up during pregnancy. Women who have struggled with anxiety or depression in the past might be at a higher risk.
If you can relate to feeling this way, you are not alone, there is help and I urge you to reach out to me. If I am not the right fit for you, I promise I will do everything I can to get you connected with the best resources possible.