Perinatal Mental Health
Becoming a mother is a life changing experience that is often filled with joy. It can also include anxiety and sadness. A pregnant or postpartum woman who finds herself distressed, depressed and anxious often feels alone. You may feel ashamed, alienated, inadequate and guilty. You may wonder how you could possibly feel this bad when you love your baby and were looking forward to pregnancy and motherhood. These thoughts and feelings are symptoms. They are not a definition of who you are as a person, a woman, or a mother. Pregnancy and the birth of a baby may bring feelings of joy, however, this can also be a time of increased stress and emotional vulnerability. The transition to parenthood is a significant emotional and psychological adjustment for the mother, the partner and the entire family.
Maternal depression is the number one complication of childbirth and pregnancy, affecting approximately one million women in the United States each year (one/six). Maternal or perinatal depression encompasses a range of mood disorders that can affect a woman during pregnancy, around the time of birth and through the child's first year. Left untreated, maternal depression leads to long-term depression in the mother, a lack of emotional availability for the baby and detrimental outcomes in the development of the fetus, newborn and developing child.
Let us help you and provide support during this period of your life. Women can be seen in the Women’s Wellness Services clinic at SGCMH.
Teletherapy - online secure and HIPAA compliant
Traveling to an office for therapy is often not convenient and for some pregnant or new moms it is not possible. But modern technology can connect clinicians with clients no matter where they live. Therefore our therapist offers the option of teletherapy, also know as online therapy. However, it is highly recommended to attend at least one or 2 sessions in person to begin, but afterwards a series of online sessions are an option. Please call our Women's Wellness Services clinic at 573-883-5715.
Wondering whether you might need professional help?
One way to know if you are at risk for depression or anxiety is to complete a screening tool. Fill out this questionnaire about your symptoms in the past week:
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Survey*
If your total is 10 or above you may want to consider professional help. If you answered 1, 2 or 3 to item #10, please contact a health care provider immediately.
* Only you can view your answers and total. Your score will not be viewed or saved by the website.