“Just take a walk and get out of the house!” Why Women Suffering from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Don't Get Professional Treatment & Care

“Just take a walk and get out of the house!” Why Women Suffering from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Don't Get Professional Treatment & Care

Sara was in her late 30’s when she became pregnant and she and her husband were ecstatic. However, her pregnancy included both physical and mental health concerns that increased with each trimester. Her physical discomfort included pain in her hips, difficulty walking and sleepless nights. She became increasingly paranoid and started to think of her baby as “an alien” growing inside of her. After giving birth her paranoia and delusions increased. Sara saw no less than five medical professionals, none of who were able or willing to properly diagnose or refer her for treatment. Sara had developed postpartum psychosis. Luckily, peripartum psychosis is rare, only impacting 0.1%-0.2% of women. What is not rare is Sara’s experience finding appropriate mental health treatment. Many women suffering from perinatal mood disorders don’t seek professional help. Treatment for perinatal mood disorders can significantly decrease stress and reduce symptomology. So why aren’t women in treatment? 

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This Couldn’t Happen to Us and Other Lies New Parents Tell Themselves: A Three-Part Guide to Making Sure Your Relationship Survives a New Baby (Part III)

This Couldn’t Happen to Us and Other Lies New Parents Tell Themselves: A Three-Part Guide to Making Sure Your Relationship Survives a New Baby (Part III)

It is difficult to convince a postpartum woman to go to therapy. Whether or not she is depressed, a new mom is exhausted, overwhelmed and preoccupied with her new baby. Understandably, early motherhood is not the best time to introduce a therapeutic-relationship or impose a healing process that is time-intensive and costly. However, if her symptoms become worse after the baby is born, if she is experiencing intrusive or distorted thoughts, or if she is suffering enough, then she needs help and there may be no choice, but to get help right away. But how do you encourage her to engage in therapy?

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This Couldn’t Happen to Us and Other Lies New Parents Tell Themselves: A Three-Part Guide to Making Sure Your Relationship Survives a New Baby (Part II)

This Couldn’t Happen to Us and Other Lies New Parents Tell Themselves: A Three-Part Guide to Making Sure Your Relationship Survives a New Baby (Part II)

When Beth imagined motherhood, she pictured her and her husband John, lying in their bed on a Saturday morning. She imagined their little baby perfectly content lying between them. Beth and John would lovingly look at each other, and think how lucky they were to have this beautiful baby and perfect family.

What Beth did not imagine is being up at 3:00 AM with a colicky, screaming baby, feeling alone, depressed, and resentful as her husband is sound asleep in the next room. Beth is filled with feelings of guilt and worthlessness as she thinks to herself: ‘this is not the life I pictured. I must be a terrible mother. My family would be better off without me.’

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Guest Blog: Therapy Beyond the Baby Blues by Simon Johnson

Guest Blog: Therapy Beyond the Baby Blues by Simon Johnson

Jamie Kreiter is a Chicago-based therapist who treats clients with postpartum depression and anxiety issues around fertility, pregnancy and parenthood. She is partnered with Better and recommends our services to her clients and we wanted to learn more about her practice and how she uses Better to give her clients more access to treatment.

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