Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal Mental Health encompasses support for individuals and families who are trying to conceive or adopt, who are pregnant, who are postpartum (the phase after giving birth) or experiencing grief and loss related to pregnancy (miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, infertility). Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, such as postpartum depression, are the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting nearly 20 percent of people during pregnancy and the postpartum years. Perinatal depression and anxiety are highly treatable through counseling and therapy. 

 

The perinatal phase is defined as preconception, pregnancy and the postpartum period up to two years after giving birth. We view the perinatal phase as a portal, where all people involved are transformed by bringing new life into the world. Perinatal wellness support has the capacity to impact two generations, you and your baby, creating a legacy of mental health and wellness.

Every counselor and therapist at Protea Wellness works from a Social Justice, Anti-Oppression, Inclusive Feminist lens.  We welcome diverse families, including families of color, LGBTQIA+ families, families with non-traditional structures, and families formed via adoption.  

We Offer Support For:

The emergence into parenthood is full of the most beautiful and challenging aspects of our life cycle, including:

  • Hormonal and body changes

  • Changes in a couples relationship

  • Examining how we were parented & re-parenting of the self

  • Financial and environmental stressors such as lack of sleep, physical trauma associated with birth or breast/chest feeding. 

  • Setting intentions as parents to the new baby.

  • Grieving life pre-baby & adjusting to new identities as parents 

All people need support during this time. Support can lead to better satisfaction as a parent and as a partner, stronger emotional bonds and attachment to newborn, foundation for infant mental health, resilience to face unexpected events that occur during pregnancy, childbirth and new parenthood.

  • Conceiving and infertility/fertility treatments 

  • Systemic oppressions faced by those trying to conceive (racism, ableism, heterosexism, cissexism, sizeism…)

  • Fear and nervousness about becoming a parent

  • "Childproofing" your relationship with your partner

  • Sexual healing for couples

  • Relationship struggles around conceiving and parenting

  • Miscarriages

  • Pregnancy termination

  • Perinatal anxiety and mood disorders

  • Postpartum depression

  • Healing past trauma that impacts pregnancy, birth and parenting

  • Hypnobirthing

  • Traumatic birthing experiences

  • Somatic healing

  • Mindfulness based stress reduction & mindful parenting

  • New parents with babies in the NICU

  • Other issues related to pregnancy & parenting

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FAQ

Q: If I have depression or anxiety, will I have it postpartum?

A: People with a history of anxiety, depression or PTSD may be at greater risk for complications perinatally, although with the right supports, coping skills and resources may help individuals manage this transition with ease and strength. 

 

Q: Can the non-birthing parent have perinatal anxiety or depression?

A: Yes, people of all genders can experience both hormonal and environmental changes leading to perinatal anxiety and depression. There is no shame in seeking support, moms, dads and parents of all genders and identities are welcome. 

 

Q: What is the difference between ‘baby blues’ and postpartum depression/anxiety?

A: During the first 2 weeks after giving birth, significant hormonal changes in the body can cause tearfulness or other symptoms in birthing person. Postpartum anxiety and depression tend to stick around longer. Both are highly treatable and support can help. 

 

Q: If I need support for perinatal anxiety or depression, does it make me a bad parent? 

A: No, struggling with mental health is the most common complication of pregnancy and impacts 20% of the population. There is no shame in seeking support and doing so can both support your mental health and the mental health of your baby.

Distance therapy via our secure online video platform is available for those unable to come into the office!

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