Congratulations on having a baby! If you are experiencing mixed feelings about this new helpless human in your home, you are not alone. You might be experiencing signs of postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety (see attached new mom checklist below) or high stress because the newborn experience is an enormous adjustment for every woman. You might even be thinking, how do I have time to go to counseling when the baby needs me all the time?
As a postpartum therapist in Colorado, I invite you to think about counseling as your self care. Therapy is you taking time for yourself, so that you will have more energy for yourself and others. Counseling can offer a bit of space for you to not caregive from a place of depletion but from a place of connection. But more than that, postpartum counseling is a place to help validate the challenges of your experience.
How to Find a Postpartum Therapist in Colorado
Okay. You’ve made a commitment to start therapy…now what? The most important first step includes searching for a therapist that has specific training in perinatal mental health. You can search on the Postpartum International Support website, ask your medical support team for recommendations or do an online search; whatever your method, you’re on the right track to finding the support you deserve.
Many counselors have the personal experience of giving birth and surviving the newborn phase, which is wonderful to draw upon. However, specific perinatal training will elevate your experience, support and progress in counseling due to the complicated nature of pregnancy, birth and postpartum phase. Trained postpartum therapists will have the language, experience, resources and understanding of what it takes to truly see you and “hold you” throughout the postpartum period.
Counseling for Birth Trauma
Also, if you experienced birth trauma, it might be helpful to search for a therapist that has training and experience with EMDR, brain spotting or neurofeedback. If you did experience birth trauma, anxiety-ridden challenges will saturate the newborn phase, making it even more difficult. Reaching out for an EMDR trained therapist soon after coming home will be most beneficial. EMDR can help reduce trauma symptoms and stop your birth trauma from attaching to your past trauma (if processed within the first 90 days).
Your First Postpartum Counseling Appointment
Once you find a therapist, your first appointment will be information gathering…the intake. During this appointment, your therapist will ask for information on your birth experience, your support network, past history with mental health, current symptoms, ask if your basic needs are being met and other related questions.
Your therapist will take time to validate your experience and give you hope that it will not always be this way. You are not your symptoms. Handouts after the intake can be helpful to understand the depth of postpartum, such as: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Postpartum Needs, The New Mom Mental Health Checklist, the Postpartum Pact, a list of simple grounding/self-soothing skills to get you started, or some helpful book recommendations. You should leave the intake with a “whisper of hope”.
Ongoing Therapy Sessions for Postpartum Support
You can expect to build that sense of hope in future therapy sessions; hope that it will not be like this forever; hope that even though it feels like your symptoms are who you are; you are not your symptoms (Karen Kleinman, This Isn’t What I Expected). You and your therapist will come up with a “blueprint,” a plan, to help you feel more connected and empowered. The postpartum period is riddled with uncertainty, which is difficult for all humans. Therapy can help give a voice to your experience, help you feel nurtured, reassured, turn down the voice of shame and feel more confident overall.
Postpartum Support Groups
Lastly, never underestimate the power of support. Group support is another helpful intervention for the postpartum phase. Imagine connecting to a group of other new moms that are feeling the exact same way.
Being a new mom can be so isolating. Having a space to share challenges, laugh together at precious moments, learn what works for others, and maybe just breathe together can be so transformative. Whatever your path, please reach out. Change societal notions to “suck it up and drive on.” Support isn’t shameful; it is a vital part of a woman's transition into motherhood.
How We Can Help
check out our postpartum support group
For moms up to 1 year postpartum who are ready to go from feeling lonely and overwhelmed to connected and understood. To explore your emotions, share daily challenges and feel less alone in motherhood!
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Kristen Dammer believes in addressing the whole health needs of you as a person, and her dedication, creativity, and flexibility as a therapist are her greatest strengths. Her holistic approach to anxiety, grief and trauma helps you feel in control and creates a welcoming environment for you to share your vulnerabilities, fears, and experiences. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and uses it to treat anxiety and trauma. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.