The birth of a baby is a time of excitement, joy, and love, as well as fear and anxiety. Most moms experience the “baby blues” in the two weeks following the birth. And many moms’ feelings can linger and grow more intense rather than fading away.
If this happens, mothers may develop postpartum depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, stress disorders, and other conditions. According to Postpartum Support International, 15-20% of women experience a postpartum mood disorder. Men can also struggle with mental health after the birth of a child. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 2-20% of men experience depression after the child’s birth. And that number can rise to 60% if the mother experiences a postpartum mood disorder. These problems are common and completely normal, but they must be addressed for parents to achieve mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Signs You May Need Postpartum Support
If you are reading this, our team congratulates you on taking the first step to understand what you are feeling and how to handle it. Here are a few signs that you may be suffering from a postpartum condition. Do note that even if what you are feeling is not listed here, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t suffering from one of these diagnoses. We highly encourage you to reach out and talk about your feelings with one of our postpartum therapists in Los Angeles, a support group, or another professional.
Additional Postpartum Symptoms
- Anger, irritability, or intense mood swings
- Guilt or lack of interest in the baby
- Dizziness, the feeling of losing control, and numbness
- Hypervigilance about the health and safety of the baby
- Fear of being left alone with the baby or difficulty bonding
- A constant state of feeling overwhelmed or incompetent
- Development of OCD or repetitive tendencies
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Extreme lack of energy
- Intense worries, fears, or rage
- Panic attacks, which may include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, the feeling of losing control, and numbness
- Trouble concentrating
- Stress or trauma flashbacks
- Avoidance of negative emotions or situations
- Distrusting loved ones
- Horror or embarrassment over distressing thoughts
- Upsetting or unwanted negative thoughts or mental images
- Feelings of hopelessness or unexplained crying
- Thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
Our Approach to Providing Postpartum Support in Los Angeles, CA
Yellow Chair’s Virtual Postpartum Support Group
The world’s current circumstances can be detrimental for new parents. Increased isolation, the inability to connect and receive support from family and friends, and decreased access to professional help could leave you feeling hopeless. Our team wants you to have every resource available, which is why we have created a virtual postpartum support group led by Selene Burley, AMFT.
Along with our support group, our postpartum therapists offer postpartum therapy in Los Angeles and California as a whole using online therapy. We provide postpartum support to parents, both individually or as a couple. And we believe that support groups are a quality resource for finding support while dealing with postpartum concerns. But, if one-on-one therapy with a counselor feels like a better fit, we offer that for you as well.
Benefits of Postpartum Support Groups
Postpartum support groups are for mothers as well as partners, family, and friends who are in the postpartum stage. By participating in these groups, you may receive the following benefits.
Better Understanding of Postpartum Concerns
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Every new parent feels confused, overwhelmed, and scared that they are screwing up. Speaking with a postpartum group about your postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, new mom stress, or any other concerns that you have with parenthood is a healthy way to develop an understanding of what you are feeling. This deeper understanding will give you insight as to what triggers it and help you identify steps to solve it.
Accepting Expectations vs. Reality
While media portrays parenthood as sunshine and rainbows, more often than not, it can be overwhelming, messy, and downright stinky. While you love your new baby, it may not be the joyous experience you were expecting. That is totally normal. Our support group can help you address and accept the differences between your expectations and reality.
Receive Emotional Validation
You are not alone in how you feel. You may think that no one understands what you are feeling, but many new parents have felt exactly as you do right now. Speaking with a postpartum support group can give you emotional validation and help you to recognize that you are not alone in how you feel.
Learn Healthy Coping Skills
It’s okay not to know the answer on how to deal with your feelings or new mom stress. A postpartum support group will provide helpful insight on how to develop and implement healthy coping skills. Not only that, but they can also help you discover the root of your troubles and teach how to minimize these issues and prevent future problems.
Build a Social Group
New parents are often isolated in the first months after birth as they care for the baby. During the day, their spouse or family is likely away at work or school. And it can be especially isolating if the mother does not have friends in a similar position as their own.
Isolation can lead to a host of negative emotions and health problems, but a postpartum support group can help. You can connect with other new moms dealing with the same challenges as you, swap tips, and build lifelong friendships.
Find Ways to Ask for Help
A study performed on the social support for mothers during the postpartum period found that most mothers faced barriers to mobilizing support. Mothers reported that asking for help made them feel as though it reflected negatively on their abilities as a mother, that family and friends would judge them, or that it would be a burden. Often, their family and friends didn’t realize this or see how the mother was struggling. A postpartum support group can teach you how to ask for help without inducing these feelings.
Other Services at Yellow Chair
At our Los Angeles, CA and New York City, NY-based therapy practice, we strive to help you find connectedness with yourself and others. Our support groups do just that. In addition to support groups, our therapists offer a variety of services. These services include anxiety treatment, trauma therapy and PTSD treatment, and EMDR therapy. And we can work with teens, adults, and couples. Most importantly, we also provide online therapy to meet with anyone living in the state of California and New York.