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Three-Part Guide to Making Sure Your Relationship Survives a New Baby (Part 3)

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with motherhood help is available. Reach out to Jamie Kreiter, LCSW by clicking here.

It is difficult to convince a postpartum woman to go to therapy. Whether or not she is depressed, a new mom is exhausted, overwhelmed and preoccupied with her new baby. Understandably, early motherhood is not the best time to introduce a therapeutic-relationship or impose a healing process that is time-intensive and costly. However, if her symptoms become worse after the baby is born, if she is experiencing intrusive or distorted thoughts, or if she is suffering enough, then she needs help and there may be no choice, but to get help right away. But how do you encourage her to engage in therapy?

Many postpartum women begin therapy at the urging of partners and loved ones or are dutifully following a referral made by their obstetricians or pediatricians. Most of these women enter therapy with a desire to be better for their babies and their families. Very few enter therapy willingly or for themselves. Therapists who are trained in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) and who are familiar with this population, can address a mother’s resistance and convince her that the road back to herself is worth the exhausting effort of therapy, whether she believes this or not.

If you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, you face two initial challenges: 1) deciding that you need therapy and 2) finding the right therapist. For clarity, I am going to describe some evidence-based therapies used to treat postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. This will help you make the right decision for your family.