Prenatal and Postpartum Concerns

Many new mothers struggle with adjusting to their new role. It is common to feel overwhelmed, anxious, fearful and even hopeless. There are a number of ways I can help you through the prenatal and postpartum periods:


You are not the first new mother to experience the symptoms of Prenatal and Postpartum Depression:

  • 60-70% of women experience some level of depression in the months following childbirth.
  • 10-15% Experience clinical levels of depression. Symptoms of depression can also begin in pregnancy.

Depression can involve feelings of hopelessness and negativity making it feel difficult to bond with your baby. You might experience intrusive thoughts. Depression can also affect your motivation and your energy to do things making it difficult for you to get out of the house; which contributes to deepening your depression.

Counselling for post-partum depression can help you to:

  • deal with negative and intrusive thoughts
  • eliminate feelings of hopelessness and difficulty concentrating
  • feel less overwhelmed and give you skills to cope more effectively with the stresses of new motherhood
  • find ways to increase your social supports and decrease isolation

You are not a ‘bad mother’ if you are experiencing Prenatal and Postpartum Depression. You are just an individual feeling overwhelmed with your new with your new lot in life.

Some studies suggest Prenatal and Postpartum Anxiety are even more common than depression. The Prenatal and Postpartum periods are filled with uncertainty and change. These feelings often trigger symptoms of anxiety in new mothers.  New mothers often find they are particularly vulnerable to depression or anxiety if they have experienced symptoms prior to getting pregnant.

Counselling for pre/postnatal anxiety can help you to:

  • deal with symptoms of anxiety including difficulty concentrating or remembering things, restlessness, insomnia and digestive issues
  • reduce or eliminate intrusive thoughts and fears
  • quiet your mind so you feel more grounded and relaxed with your baby
  • cope more effectively with the stresses of life and new motherhood
  • find ways to increase your social supports and decrease isolation

Feeling anxious is natural. Therapy can help you understand and manage those feelings.

Experiences that may contribute to post-traumatic symptoms:

  • Complications that required an assisted birth or emergency c-section
  • Long labour or a quick painful delivery
  • Fear for your life or your baby during labour and birth
  • Health concerns
  • Loss of control, insensitivity and sometimes even rough treatment by medical providers
  • Traumatic experiences in your past

Counselling for Traumatic Birth can help you to:

  • eliminate post-traumatic symptoms
  • regain feelings of safety and control
  • reduce or eliminate symptoms of anxiety/depression
  • prepare for another pregnancy
  • set a template for a positive future birth experience

Even without previous traumatic birth experience, it is not unusual for women to express extreme fear of labour and birth. Therapeutic techniques including EMDR can help you release fears and prepare you for a positive, healthy and rewarding birth experience.

The loss of a baby at any time during pregnancy can bring on overwhelming feelings associated with grief. Both partners may go through significant distress and feelings of sadness, anger, fear and guilt.

It is normal to go through a grieving process. Counselling can offer support, a place to express what you are going through, and strategies for you and your partner to maneuver this difficult and distressing time.

The loss of a baby in late pregnancy is devastating. Stillbirth is much more common than SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) yet it is often not talked about.

When grief and trauma go untreated, often the effects are depression and/or anxiety. Counselling treatment after suffering a stillbirth offers you not only a place of support, but also gives you tools to manage your symptoms and be able to move forward with life.

Becoming a parent is a big change. When an individual or couple undergoes such a change, feelings of fear, uncertainty and hopelessness may arise.

Counselling can offer you a supportive environment to discuss and resolve these issues. It can also be a place to learn new skills for dealing with stress and life with your baby.

Bringing home a new baby is a big change for any family. It’s no wonder many couples report a decline in the quality of their relationship following the birth of a child.

Counselling can help you and your partner regain that connection, strengthen your relationship and teach you how to best support each other.

There are a number of reasons why a mother may experience difficulty bonding with her baby:

  • a history of trauma
  • neglect or attachment difficulties
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • trouble in the relationship with her partner
  • a baby with special needs/illness or colic

Counselling can also help you find ways of coping with stressors and teach you strategies to increase your connection with your little one.

Registered Clinical Counsellor in Maple Ridge, British Columbia