“There is an illness that takes away a mother’s ability to access joy…right at the time she needs it the most”–Dr. Katherine Wisner
I have worked in the social services field for more than a decade helping families in a variety of positions–from community mental health to working in the juvenile justice system, and eventually settling into private practice. When I first began my work in 2006 I had no idea what direction my career would take me, but I knew one thing was certain: I wanted to do my best to help people be the best versions of themselves.
In 2013 I welcomed my first child. Having worked as a Child Mental Health Specialist and Marriage and Family Therapist for several years prior to having my son, I felt like I would be prepared for the journey into parenthood and well equipped to handle the struggles and challenges that I knew would come my way. I did everything “right,” yet I still found that my postpartum struggles were more than just simple “baby blues.” After three and a half months of struggling I finally realized I had postpartum depression. Yes, a clinician who diagnosed women with the very same postpartum mood disorder struggled for nearly four months before realizing that she needed additional help and support to overcome her own postpartum depression.
I use this story to highlight just how fickle, difficult, and consuming postpartum depression can be. Despite actually working in a career that helped women and families deal with similar circumstances, I still had a hard time identifying and seeking help. It was at this point I realized that if I had a hard time with it despite all of my training, education, preparation, and family support then someone with few or none of these attributes would be in a worse position than I was. I knew I wanted to do something to connect with my local community of mothers and spread the word for postpartum mood disorder awareness. It was then I joined a PEPS group and began my journey to wellness, finally enjoying parenting.
When my second child was born in 2016 I knew I needed to set in place protective factors to help pad any risk of postpartum mood disorders and to create a space for self-care. The difference between my first and second postpartum experiences were staggering, and it was then I decided I wanted to permanently shift my practice to focus on women’s reproductive and maternal mental heath.
If you are struggling to conceive, dealing with the pain of infertility, depression or anxiety during pregnancy, postpartum mood disorders, or struggling with the transition into parenthood, please contact me to schedule a free phone consultation to see if my services match your needs.
Knowing that it can be difficult to make arrangements for childcare, particularly when newly postpartum, I do allow babies in session. I have purposefully set up a home office equipped to have babies comfortably attend with you, should you have no childcare options or simply not want to be away from your little for long periods of time. In my office you will find two rooms–a “baby room” with play mats, changing table, swing, pack and play, rock and play, and various baby toys (all sanitized after use). In the second connecting room you will find a more traditional therapy set up with couches and chairs. My goal is to help families be comfortable and rid of the biggest barrier for many mother’s seeking treatment or support. Let’s face it, childcare can be difficult to find, expensive, or impossible to arrange with feeding schedules or nap schedules. At a time when new mothers need as much help and support as can be given, I’d like to lend a small hand in making things easier.
Have an older baby and still struggling with postpartum stressors or mood disorders? Please, bring them if need be. Postpartum mood disorders can be long lasting if not treated, and are certainly not exclusive to the newborn phase. In fact, peak time for postpartum depression is 3 1/2 months. Once you have a child, you are always postpartum–it doesn’t matter how old your child is. It’s time to practice self-care and live as well as you can, especially if you “still don’t feel like” yourself.
Please come back to read additional blogs, which will be focused on postpartum topics and updated biweekly.
Wishing you wellness!