You’ve finally made it through your pregnancy, survived the birth and managed to bring your perfect and healthy bundle of joy home with you at last. And now everything is wonderful and blissful, right? My guess is no. At least not most of the time. And the hardest part? You’re not really supposed to talk about it. Sure a chuckle here and there about how much sleep you’re losing is okay, but most moms aren’t talking about the real struggles and challenges that come with motherhood. Many are embarrassed or ashamed and feeling as if every other mother is somehow managing better than them.
Being a new mom is hard.
Everything shifts and changes including your sense of self, your physical body, your hormones, your relationships, your perspective on work, and your community. And this experience can be very different from what your expectation of motherhood was before having the baby. For many, it can also be one of the first times that we aren’t feeling successful. The challenge of figuring out who you are in relation to all of these new pieces of your life can be overwhelming, and without a good amount of emotional support it can feel close to insurmountable. My hope is to support expectant, new, and “experienced” mothers through this time of huge transition through psychotherapy as well as a variety of services that may fit your needs better.
I facilitate a weekly support group for new moms and their babies. The group provides a safe, nonjudgmental space for new moms to receive support around their transition to parenthood. Yes, we’ll discuss the joys, but we’ll also discuss the fears, the isolation, and all the bowl-you-over moments of despair. And, in the meantime, you’ll be forming a community of support. A community who is dealing with the same range of emotions as you are because, no, you are not the only one.
The group takes place at Caribou Baby, which is located at 272 Driggs Avenue. It will be on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 and the cost for an 8 week session is $240. A sliding scale is available and babies of all ages are welcome. Please feel free to contact me for information about joining our next session.
While some women can been seen for office visits, many women are unable to access treatment while on bedrest or when they are immediately postpartum and these can be times of particular need for support. As a result, I provide home visits for women on bedrest and those with risk factors for postpartum depression and anxiety. These visits are intended to be for a short window of time to support women until they can come to the office.
Even when a birth might look “perfect” there are times when a mom may be walking away from her experience with some significant post-traumatic stress. Physicians, midwives, doulas, nurses, spouses, partners, and family members may assume that all is fine and dandy for a mom because she has delivered a healthy newborn when, in reality, her perception can be very, very different. And, yes, this trauma can create some big challenges for the beginning of motherhood. Fortunately, it has been shown that the experience of debriefing, or telling and processing your experience, can decrease the symptoms of trauma and decrease the chances of developing postpartum depression. For this reason, I offer women the opportunity to meet with me for a small number of sessions in order to process their birth experience in a safe and empathic space.