When most people imagine a new mother and her baby, they envision a happy woman indulging in blissful moments with her newborn. While this is a true experience for many women, it’s not one that every mom is fortunate enough to enjoy due to behavioral health problems that postpartum can bring. At Valley Community Health in the San Fernando Valley, our OB/GYN clinicians and licensed therapists work together to help women navigate this difficult time. Read on to learn more about postpartum and behavioral health counseling, then contact VCH to schedule your appointment.
Mental Health Disorders in Postpartum
After a woman gives birth, several different mental health disorders can affect her. Sometimes, those effects last weeks or months after birth. The most well-known is postpartum depression, which ranges in severity. Postpartum depression can lead to thoughts of harming oneself or others in its most severe forms. New mothers may also experience postpartum anxiety, postpartum psychosis, and postpartum OCD. In fact, postpartum anxiety is the most common of all behavioral health conditions that can arise after giving birth.
What Are the Symptoms?
When a woman is experiencing a change in her mental state due to postpartum, the symptoms go beyond feeling empty, tired, or nervous about parenthood. Postpartum depression, anxiety, psychosis, and OCD are intense conditions that interfere with life. They may cause mothers to feel like they don’t have a bond with their newborns or as though they don’t love them. Other symptoms include:
- Excessive worry about the baby
- Constantly checking on the baby
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling guilty
- Obsessing over germs near the baby
In the case of postpartum psychosis, hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms. This condition, while rare, is a medical emergency because it puts the mother and newborn at risk. Don’t wait to find help if you’re experiencing psychosis after giving birth — contact VCH today.
Common Risk Factors
As you read, mental health disorders in postpartum aren’t something that every woman experiences. However, some physical and emotional factors could play a role, such as:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Financial or relationship stress
- Sleep deprivation
- Underlying medical conditions
What To Expect During Your Diagnosis
If you’ve been experiencing new symptoms of a behavioral health problem for more than two weeks after giving birth, it’s important to see your healthcare provider. At Valley Community Health, we would be more than happy to help with your diagnosis at one of our medical centers in North Hollywood or North Hills.
We’ll review your symptoms, recent sleep patterns, and medical history during your appointment with us. Because mental health disorders in postpartum can be affected by life events, we’ll also ask about recent stressors. From there, the VCH team can reach a diagnosis and determine treatment.
How Does Postpartum Counseling Help?
If you’re diagnosed with depression, anxiety, psychosis, or OCD postpartum, the first step in treatment is counseling. Postpartum counseling provides the support and coping skills that many new mothers need. A licensed therapist can also teach self-care strategies that ensure mom is taking care of herself. When you choose VCH for postpartum counseling, your OB/GYN and therapist will work together to help you adjust to motherhood and manage your emotions healthily.
Let VCH Meet Your Healthcare Needs
At Valley Community Health, we’re here to meet the needs of moms throughout the San Fernando Valley. We understand how stressful it can be when you feel unable to connect with or love your newborn, but you can trust our team to help you fix those completely normal feelings. After a few postpartum counseling sessions with us, you’ll be ready to bond with your baby. Contact VCH today to learn more about our women’s health services or to schedule your appointment.