Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

The arrival of a new baby is usually full of intensity. The joy and amazement that comes from holding and gazing at our babies is awe-inspiring. The emotional intensity that we experience as a new parent might be truly unmatched. And yet – this can be a time of intense difficulty for many parents.

Is it normal to feel anxious and depressed after having a baby?

Many women and men find the transition to parenthood overwhelming. Most new parents experience intense exhaustion, worry, feelings of incompetence, and frustration. Couples with a new baby often experience tension in their relationship as they feel their way through the surreal experience of going from two to three, from three to four, and so on.  From those early days of breastfeeding to the seemingly never-ending sleep deprivation, the learning curve is unrelenting. This can be a normal part of the transition that subsides as we find our groove as a parent. However, when these struggles don’t go away – or even worsen – it’s time to talk to a professional. Parenting a baby when you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or are constantly emotionally triggered is simply too much to cope with on your own.

Can counselling help with postpartum depression and anxiety?

We believe it can – and we’ve seen it make a huge difference. Elana’s background in mental health, combined with her interest in prenatal and postpartum adjustment, has enabled her to assess and treat a wide range of perinatal difficulties, including:

  • excessive worry about health and safety issues regarding the baby
  • feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness in the first year following the birth of a baby
  • processing traumatic birth experiences
  • relationship problems 

Prenatal and postpartum adjustment is a major component of our practice. We are keenly interested in the experience of being a parent: the shift in identity, the vulnerability, and the sometimes surprising range of emotions this can evoke. What we think you will find is that we am able to skillfully get to the bottom of the core issues, fears, and patterns that are creating struggling and suffering. From there, we can help you develop more strength, confidence, and emotional balance in this often overwhelming time of transition.

Our pre and postnatal specialists have years of experience counselling women, men and couples whose postpartum struggles run the gamut from mental health concerns to relationship issues to self-care. We have provided consultation to various midwifery groups and the Pacific Postpartum Society, and have made public presentations on postpartum adjustment.

Many of our clients are referred to us for counselling by their midwives, doctors, or through BC Women’s Hospital’s Reproductive Mental Health program, but a referral is not necessary; in fact, the majority of our clients come to us through their own search (googling in the wee hours of the night), or by word of mouth.  Some seek us out during serious crises, and others come to us for support and guidance to help them feel stronger and more balanced as a parent.  

If you would like to explore whether your issues in this area are something we could help you with, please contact us for a free initial telephone consultation.

Publications on Postpartum Adjustment:

Where to Start: Three Building Blocks for Working with Postpartum Clients Fall 2016Insights  – BC Association of Clinical Counsellors Magazine (p 18-21)

Ready to improve your mental and emotional state?