Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health

Have You Been Struggling With Your Mental Health In Pregnancy Or Postpartum?

Are you wanting more information on pregnancy and postpartum mental health to see if you are at risk for a PMAD or better understand how they may affect you and your family?

Are you pregnant and, rather than feeling excited, you feel anxious or depressed?

Have you recently had a baby and worry that you might be suffering from a Perinatal Mood And Anxiety Disorder (PMAD), such as Postpartum Depression or Perinatal Anxiety?

Are you worried to admit how you’re feeling because you’re afraid of being judged as a bad parent?

Do you wish someone would speak frankly about the fears and anxieties that are common in the perinatal period (pregnancy through the first year postpartum)? 

Even though it seems like everyone around you expects you to feel overjoyed by the upcoming birth of your child, inwardly you might be feeling dread or fear. Perhaps you’re feeling anxious or depressed, wondering if you will be able to handle the responsibility of becoming a parent. But rather than admit this to anyone, you might feel ashamed or guilty.

Or maybe you’ve recently given birth and doubt your ability to be a good mother. When you compare the expectations you had before giving birth—that you’d feel joyful, loving, and complete once the baby arrived—with how you actually feel—exhausted, anxious, and isolated—the contrast is profound.  

Fortunately, we have co-created a course with Beth Warren, LCSW that talks candidly about these challenges and normalizes tangible steps you can take to get the help and support you need.

Many Of Us Experience Mental Health Challenges In Pregnancy And Postpartum

The extent of physical, psychological, and emotional transition that takes place during the perinatal phase is extensive. In fact, there’s a term for it: matrescence. Similar to adolescence, matrescence is a time in our lives when everything is in flux. As we prepare to bring new life into the world and become a parent, we simultaneously leave behind life as we’ve known it up to that point. 

It’s understandable that in this time of metamorphosis, we may feel a flood of emotions, both positive and negative ones. Unfortunately, our culture perpetuates the false myth that pregnancy and postpartum is a time when a new parent will feel their deepest joy. However, the reality is often something far different than this—we may experience fears, doubts, anxiety, and sadness during pregnancy that continue through the days, weeks, and months after giving birth. Unfortunately, if we enter this phase of life thinking we should only feel elated and grateful, then we experience the added burden of shame and guilt. 

The good news is that the Birth Education Center understands the importance of setting realistic expectations for pregnant people and their partners about the feelings they experience during the perinatal period. Our Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health course provides an open and honest in-depth exploration of this subject that dispels the shame and judgment that is often associated with mood disorders such as Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.

Prioritizing Your Perinatal Mental Health Has Far-Reaching Benefits

Many of the parents who take our BEC childbirth education courses throughout the years have confided to me that they weren’t expecting to feel the way they’re feeling—anxious, afraid, sad, and overwhelmed. When I got a copy of Beth’s and Dr. Berger’s workbook, The Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Workbook – I KNEW we had to create a course to help the families that we serve.  It is the best resource I found to help normalize the conversation about the common mood changes and misconceptions we have on maternal health. The books my students have read and the movies they’ve watched about childbirth and parenthood haven’t prepared them for the physiological and emotional changes that they’re now experiencing. Families often feel ashamed for not feeling continually happy about becoming a parent.

Because we have seen first-hand how common this issue is with new parents, we wanted to bring the topic of perinatal mental health out of the shadows and have a frank and open discussion about the challenges you might face. Recognizing the long-term impact your mental health will have on you during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond, the BEC has co-created a course that covers the different mental health issues that can arise so that you are equipped to identify and treat them early.

In this course, we will talk about the different symptoms associated with PMADs, such as perinatal or postpartum depression or anxiety, so that you will be able to conduct a self-assessment and determine whether you may be at risk. By breaking down the stigmas of mental health in the perinatal period, you will realize that everything you’re experiencing is normal and, with proper diagnosis, highly treatable.

We begin the course by defining what PMADs are and how you can determine whether or not normal baby blues has blossomed into something more persistent and severe. In addition to discussing who is most vulnerable to PMADs and why, we will talk about how your partner’s mental health is also impacted during pregnancy and postpartum but often overlooked. Beth further provides you with self-care practices, prevention and treatment options, and ways to access local resources in her workbook which is included with the course.

We aim to normalize the psychological and emotional challenges you may be experiencing. Destigmatizing your mental health at this critical period in your life can help you chart a healthy path forward into parenthood.

But You May Wonder If BEC’s Pregnancy And Mental Health Class Is Right For You…

Isn’t it normal to feel moody and out of sorts after you’ve had a baby?

While the “baby blues” is an adjustment period experienced by most birthing people in the postpartum period, when the duration, frequency, and intensity of symptoms exceed what is considered normal, it may indicate something more serious. Learning how to identify the symptoms of a PMAD early—whether it’s postpartum depression (PPD), anxiety (PPA), OCD, PTSD, or psychosis—is invaluable because each condition is temporary and treatable. The sooner your PMAD is diagnosed, the sooner you can find out how to treat it.

I don’t have time to take another class.

If you’re pregnant, it’s understandable that you may feel overwhelmed with childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant care classes. However, everything else you are juggling through this significant life transition relies on you feeling well. By prioritizing your pregnancy and postpartum mental health, you will create a stable foundation for yourself. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—getting a handle on your mental health before it becomes a bigger problem will positively affect all aspects of your pregnancy and postpartum experience.

Your Perinatal Mental Health Matters The Most

Learning to identify the signs of symptoms of a PMAD early can have a lasting positive impact on your perinatal experience. Once you click the link below and register on MemberVault, you will have immediate access to the course. We have developed it as a recorded presentation facilitated by Care Messer, the founder of the Birth Education Center, and Beth Warren, LCSW, certified Perinatal Mental Health and EMDR therapist. The fee of the course includes a copy of Beth’s book, The Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Workbook, a wonderful resource that includes all course material and more.

To register, click here, and if you have any questions feel free to Contact Us.

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