Many parents experience psychological distress during pregnancy and in the weeks and months following the birth of a baby. This distress is particularly confusing for mothers who are adjusting to significant variations in sleep patterns, body changes, hormonal fluctuations, and altered roles.
The symptoms of postnatal depression and anxiety will be experienced differently by each individual mother. Many mothers talk about:
- Feelings of intense sadness
- Crying inconsolably
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Inability to sleep when their baby is sleeping
- Difficulty finding joy in their baby
- Being ashamed at not coping
- An intense fear that their baby will be hurt or die
- Obsessively calculating the timing of sleeps and feeds
- Having negative or hostile thoughts towards their baby or themselves
- Feelings of resentment around their loss of self
- Being totally alone at home with little support
- Confusion about whether their feelings are a “normal” consequence of having a baby.
When these feelings persist beyond the first few weeks following the birth of a baby, we encourage parents to seek immediate assistance.
At Brainbox Psychology Clinic, our therapy with mothers and their babies is informed by current scientific research evidence. This research shows us that early therapeutic intervention aimed at enhancing maternal mental health has a positive impact on infant and child development.
During therapy, we work with mothers and their infants to closely listen, observe, and understand all of the factors leading to distress. We know that it’s essential for a mother to achieve a sense of symptom relief early on in treatment, so we focus on achievable goals that can be actioned immediately. We also keep in mind what’s most important; creating a healthy parent-child relationship now and into the future.