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?

Read More

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.

Read More

It Gets Better: Accepting Help as a New Mom

It Gets Better: Accepting Help as a New Mom

Most mothers caring for infants have more things to do than hours in a day. Mothers spend almost all of their time and energy taking care of their new baby, leaving little time for chores and other things like washing clothes, grocery shopping, preparing meals, entertaining visitors, writing thank you notes, packing lunches, cleaning the house. 

In the best of circumstances, with support and resources, having a new baby can be a challenge and an adjustment. In circumstances where a mother is experiencing depression or anxiety after childbirth, having a baby can range from a significant stressor to a crisis. There is no right or wrong way to transition into motherhood, but there is always a transition. Try to let go of perfectionist tendencies and know that you are doing the best you can, and that is just fine! Here are 9 things you can try to make your life easier.

Read More

Mighty Mama: Stacey Porter from 2020 Mom

Mighty Mama: Stacey Porter from 2020 Mom

Stacey Porter is this Monday’s #MightyMama. She is the Ambassador Program Lead and Training Manager for 2020 Mom, a national non-profit organization that seeks to close gaps in maternal mental health care. Stacey’s strength is to provide compassion and empathy that is sometimes missing from our society. Stacey inspires others in both her professional and personal life. Stacey experienced the loss of her 25-week-old daughter, Delilah. Talking to other mothers who had experienced trauma and loss helped Stacey to heal and find strength. Stacey tries not to hold herself to the impossible perfect standards that the media sets up for mothers, which helps her keep the balance. She has two happy and healthy children, which also keep her going. Stacey’s message to other moms is to feel free to be themselves, to laugh at #epicfails, to stop striving for perfection and to give yourself a little break sometimes. For moms who are suffering from a loss of any kind, whether it’s the loss of a child or the loss of yourself, Stacey reminds you that there is a way back.

Keep reading for Stacey's full interview. 

Read More

Why Mother's Day Isn't a Happy Day for Every Mother

Why Mother's Day Isn't a Happy Day for Every Mother

Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the mothers in your life. And if you are a mother, it can be a wonderful time to celebrate yourself. But Mother’s Day can also be a complicated holiday for many women, especially a new mom who may be suffering.

Read More

Dear Provider: What Your Health Care Provider Should Always Ask

Dear Provider: What Your Health Care Provider Should Always Ask

Dear Provider,  

Maternal suicide is the leading cause of death during pregnancy and within the first year after birth. About 1 in 7 women screen positive for depression during pregnancy and within the first postpartum year. Treatment of maternal depression and stress has shown to be very effective in both decreasing symptoms and improving functioning among children and families. However, many women with perinatal depression or anxiety are under-diagnosed and go untreated.

Read More

Tell Me What's Going Well: Changing Negativity

Tell Me What's Going Well: Changing Negativity

Catherine came to see me when her son was four-months old. She was suffering from postpartum anxiety. She tearfully told me how everything was going wrong. She described feelings of guilt (“I am letting my husband and baby down”), feelings of helplessness (“I just can’t do this) and physical and psychological stress (“I’m breaking out into hives”).  I asked her to tell me what was going well. She looked at me surprisingly as she wiped away her tears. It was as if she had never thought about this.

Read More

Why New Moms Don't Want to Engage in Therapy

Why New Moms Don't Want to Engage in Therapy

Pregnancy and parenting is a happy time in your life. But what if it is not? Along with the joy that accompanies pregnancy and the birth of a new baby, there are also stressful experiences that generate anxiety and pervasive feelings of sadness, incompetence and loneliness. One in seven women suffer from Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a group of symptoms that occur during pregnant and in the postpartum period, interfering with a mother’s emotional wellness and overall functioning. Therapy can be very effective at reducing these symptoms, but most new mothers are not interested in therapy. Here are some reasons why mothers are ambivalent about starting therapy.

Read More

Maternal Mental Illness Impacts Everyone: The Struggle for Partners

Maternal Mental Illness Impacts Everyone: The Struggle for Partners

This past weekend 2020 Mom, in partnership with the March of Dimes, launched March for Moms®, a walk to raise awareness for maternal mental health and related disorders, including depression and anxiety. On Sunday, marches were held throughout the country in support of mothers and their families. While the walk was open to all survivors, families, supporters and health care providers, very few fathers were present. My husband noticed this as he sat blowing up balloons with maternal health statistics printed on them. As I looked around at the many women and their children, I did notice the absence of men. Where are all the dads?

Read More