Becoming a New Parent is Hard

Parenthood is a major transition. It means the change of many things as we once knew them. Although it can be a joyful and loving time, for many it can be filled with stress and anxiety. The distress a new parent experiences can be normal, talking to someone can help you make sense of your new thoughts, feelings and worries during this transition period in you and your family's life. 

 Although distress is a common and normal experience when becoming a new parent or adding a new baby to the family, 1 in 5 women will develop a more serious mental health concern called a PMAD (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder) 

1 in 10 dads gets postpartum depression, and up to 18% develop a clinically significant anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder at some point during the pregnancy or the first year postpartum.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders have been identified in parents of every culture, age, income level and ethnicity.  15-20% of women experience more serious symptoms during or after the birth of their baby.

Are you feeling sad or depressed?
Do you feel more irritable or angry with those around you?
Are you having difficulty bonding with your baby?
Do you feel anxious or panicky?
Are you having problems with eating or sleeping?
Are you having difficulty concentrating or making decisions?
Are you having upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind?
Do you feel as if you are “out of control” or “going crazy”?
Do you feel like you never should have become a mother?
Are you worried that you might hurt your baby or yourself?

Any of these symptoms, and many more, could indicate that you have a form of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, such as postpartum depression. While many birth parents experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20%  experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. Please know that with informed care you can prevent a worsening of these symptoms and can fully recover. There is no reason to continue to suffer. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth. There are effective and well-researched treatment options to help you recover. 

You are not alone. You are not to blame. With help, you will be well.

Perinatal Mental Health is a Family Issue

Whether you are a  non-birthing parent trying to support a partner or you think you may be experiencing a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, we are glad you are here. We want you to know that you are not alone.

Perinatal Mental Health can impact the whole family, not just the parent that birthed the child. Partners can experience symptoms of perinatal depression & anxiety

Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted 
Insecure or Internal pressure to get it right
Crying spells and sadness
Anger and irritability,
Repetitive fears and worries

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Queer and Trans Parents

Queer & Trans families have a higher risk for perinatal mood difficulties for a variety of reasons including discrimination, stigma, personal mental health history, possible issues with their family of origin, conception or adoption complications, denial of parental rights, and more.

If you or your partner are experiencing symptoms of perinatal mental health struggles please know you are not alone, with help you can get better.

Click the Read More for more support and resources for LGBTQ+ support

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In the spirit of respect and reconciliation, I acknowledge that my practices are located upon the lands that have been inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning. I acknowledge the Haldimand Tract, traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabe and Haudenosauonee peoples, and the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. As a settler, I respectfully thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land for thousands of years. I am connected to our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our communities

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Waterloo, ON, CA

© 2024 Carla Bertolin-Siegmund Registered Psychotherapist