Services

02. Maternal Mental Health

Postpartum Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others.

Postpartum depression does not have a single cause, but likely results from a combination of physical and emotional factors. Postpartum depression does not occur because of something a mother does or does not do.

 

The “baby blues” is a term used to describe the feelings of worry, unhappiness, and fatigue that many women experience after having a baby.   With postpartum depression, feelings of sadness and anxiety can be extreme and might interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself or her family.

 Some of the more common symptoms a woman may experience include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed

  • Crying more often than usual or for no apparent reason

  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious

  • Feeling moody, irritable, or restless

  • Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when

       her baby is asleep

  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details,

       and making decisions

  • Experiencing anger or rage

  • Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable

  • Suffering from physical aches and pains, including

       frequent headaches, stomach problems, and

       muscle pain

  • Eating too little or too much

  • Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family

  • Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with her baby

  • Persistently doubting her ability to care for her baby

  • Thinking about harming herself or her baby.

Traumatic Birth Experience

Pregnancy and childbirth can be such a joyful time in an couple's life.  It is often a major milestone that marks couples for the rest of their lives.  However, for a number of women, childbirth is a traumatic experience.  For some women, a perfectly natural phenomenon does not go as planned. This might have resulted in sudden, unexpected life-threatening emergency for either mother or baby.  Sometimes the birthing process may involve serious injury of a new baby.   Though this is not an exhaustive list of scenarios which may result in birth trauma, however, the result may be postnatal PTSD.
In these cases, women are more likely to have difficulty adjusting to their new role as mothers.  Just as with experiencing a car accident, natural disasters, or war,  many of the same symptoms of PTSD may be manifested. ​Unfortunately, most women who report symptoms to the physician may be misdiagnosed as experiencing postpartum depression.  However, the treatment of depression and the treatment of PTSD are very different.

Traumatic Birth Experience

Pregnancy and childbirth can be such a joyful time in an couple's life.  It is often a major milestone that marks couples for the rest of their lives.  However, for a number of women, childbirth is a traumatic experience.  For some women, a perfectly natural phenomenon does not go as planned. This might have resulted in sudden, unexpected life-threatening emergency for either mother or baby.  Sometimes the birthing process may involve serious injury of a new baby.   Though this is not an exhaustive list of scenarios which may result in birth trauma, however, the result may be postnatal PTSD.
In these cases, women are more likely to have difficulty adjusting to their new role as mothers.  Just as with experiencing a car accident, natural disasters, or war,  many of the same symptoms of PTSD may be manifested. ​Unfortunately, most women who report symptoms to the physician may be misdiagnosed as experiencing postpartum depression.  However, the treatment of depression and the treatment of PTSD are very different.

Traumatic Birth Experience

Pregnancy and childbirth can be such a joyful time in an couple's life.  It is often a major milestone that marks couples for the rest of their lives.  However, for a number of women, childbirth is a traumatic experience.  For some women, a perfectly natural phenomenon does not go as planned. This might have resulted in sudden, unexpected life-threatening emergency for either mother or baby.  Sometimes the birthing process may involve serious injury of a new baby.   Though this is not an exhaustive list of scenarios which may result in birth trauma, however, the result may be postnatal PTSD.
In these cases, women are more likely to have difficulty adjusting to their new role as mothers.  Just as with experiencing a car accident, natural disasters, or war,  many of the same symptoms of PTSD may be manifested. ​Unfortunately, most women who report symptoms to the physician may be misdiagnosed as experiencing postpartum depression.  However, the treatment of depression and the treatment of PTSD are very different.

Miscarriage & Loss

If you're one of the millions of women who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage or after birth, I'm so sorry for your loss. There are no words that will ever take away the pain that you feel...

Miscarriage and other losses are traumatic and healing from such losses may require professional help.  Mothers (and fathers) who experience fetal loss are at risk for depressive and anxiety disorders.  Additionally, it there may be difficulty caring for any other children in the home. Since miscarriage and other losses are unexpected, it is not uncommon for mothers to believe themselves to be at fault for the tragedy.  This can often lead to guilt and shame.  It's not your fault.   

Infertility

According to RESOLVE:The National Infertility Association, infertility is diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age. If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.  Secondary infertility is the inability to have another child after previously carrying and and birthing with no difficulty. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to a female factor and 30% is due to a male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.
Working through infertility can be a very difficult period in a person's life that is laden with a myriad of emotions.  However, it may be time to seek professional mental health services if you experience any of the following for longer than three months:
·         Loss of interest in normal activities
·         Strained interpersonal relationships (with partner, family, friends, or colleagues)
·         Difficulty thinking about anything other than your infertility
·         High levels of anxiety
·         Diminished ability to focus on completing tasks
·         Difficulty concentrating
·         Change in sleep patterns (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, early morning   
          awakening, sleeping more than usual)
·         Change in appetite or weight (increase or decrease)
·         Increased use of drugs or alcohol
·         Thoughts about death or suicide
·         Social isolation
·         Persistent feelings of pessimism, guilt, or worthlessness
·         Persistent feelings of bitterness or anger
For general inquiries

Due to COVID19, priority will be given to those presenting with symptoms of PTSD/TRAUMA. Other services are offered on a limited basis.

1633 E. 4th Street, Suite 150, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Tel:657-267-7521 / Fax: 657-267-7522

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© 2019 by Tara Nyasio, PsyD