Stephanie Eslick LMFT, RPT

Stephanie Eslick LMFT, RPT

As a marriage and family therapist and registered play therapist, Stephanie works to provide hope for individuals and families in a safe and therapeutic environment. Stephanie has several years of professional experience helping individuals, couples, families, and children.

If you have a bad cough or high fever you call your doctor and schedule an appointment. Right? Most likely, you would do so without thinking twice. So, why should you suffer in silence if you are an new or expecting mom and struggling with your mental health? You don't have to suffer or feel guilty or ashamed.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on email
Please note, the information in this post is not a replacement for personal medical advice.

Finding out you are going to be a mom can bring many emotions. You may feel like you have a million questions about what changes are coming. Expecting mothers tend to focus on how they will take care of their baby and forget to think about how they will care for their own mental and physical health needs.

Mother’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate moms for everything they do. It is also the perfect time to shine a light on the importance of mental health during and after pregnancy. 

Feeling excited, confused, frustrated, scared, overwhelmed, anxious, and discouraged are all very normal emotions to have when expecting. During pregnancy or after childbirth, not all feelings are positive and this is ok. But, what happens if these feelings start to affect your mental health and negatively impact your daily life?

According to the World Health Organization, about 10 percent of pregnant women and 13 percent of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder. The most common disorders are depression and anxiety.

Who is at risk for Maternal Mental Health issues?

Any woman can develop a mental health disorder during pregnancy and in the first year after delivery. It doesn’t mean that you have “failed” or are a “bad mom.” Pregnancy causes a lot of changes physically and mentally. Since fatigue and poor sleep are expected with new motherhood, maternal mental health disorders often go unrecognized. So, how do you tell if you or a new mom you care about needs some extra help navigating this stage in life?

Mood and anxiety symptoms to pay attention to are:

  • Deep Sadness
  • Crying Spells
  • Hopelessness
  • Excessive Worrying
  • Intense Irritability or Anger
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Inability to Sleep, Even When the Baby is Sleeping
  • Overwhelming Fatigue
  • Loss of Interest in Sex
  • Lack of Joy in Life
  • Feelings of Shame, Guilt or Inadequacy
  • Severe Mood Swings
  • Withdrawal from Family and Friends
  • Confusion or Disorientation
  • Hallucinations and Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty Bonding with the Baby
  • Thoughts of Harming Yourself or the Baby
  • Attempts to Harm Yourself or the Baby

Can this affect the child’s health?

If you have taken a recent trip in an airplane, you have probably heard the instructions, “in case of an emergency, place your own oxygen mask on prior to placing a child’s on.” In order to provide children with a healthy home environment, their mother’s needs also need to be met.

So yes, untreated a new mom’s mental health can affect her child. However, with care, both mom and baby can thrive.

What can you do?

If you have a bad cough or high fever you call your doctor and schedule an appointment. Right? Most likely, you would do so without thinking twice. So, why should you suffer in silence if you are a new or expecting mom and struggling with your mental health? You don’t have to suffer or feel guilty or ashamed.

Perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, like depression and anxiety, are actual illnesses that may need professional help. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms above, please contact us at Covenant Family Solutions for help.  Healthy and happy moms help lead to healthy and happy families. 

Related Articles

Depression
Mental Health Awareness
Amy Reihman, MS, LMHC

Just Feeling Down? Or are You Suffering from Depression?

You may be reading this — now knowing that depression is not as rare as you once thought — and wonder “Do I have depression?” One of the most common misconceptions that I hear is the idea that in order to have depression a person must feel sad all of the time or cry frequently. While this can be a symptom of depression, it is certainly not the only one.

Read More »
voting booth
Relationships
Charlie White, TLMHC

How to Navigate Politics and Family Conflict

People tend to get particularly defensive when they feel outnumbered by those who do not share their view. In order to have a successful conversation, don’t go into it trying to change anyone’s mind. Rather, make it your goal to understand their view. “Help me understand your beliefs,” is a statement you could try. This might help the other person open up and realize they are not being attacked.

Read More »
paternal postnatal depression
Men's Mental Health
Nicholas D'Amico, MA, LMFT

New fathers can struggle with Postnatal Depression too.

For many men struggling with Paternal Postnatal Depression (PPND), the feelings of sadness quickly get entwined with other complicated emotions. In many situations this condition goes untreated. Men are often taught to hide sadness, pain, and other emotions. Expressing the feelings associated with PPND feels like weakness.

Read More »