Managing Maternal Mental Health During COVID-19

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Becoming a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world! Every experienced mother knows that motherhood comes with a unique set of challenges. Now, COVID-19 has presented another set of stressors for mothers forcing many to balance various roles.

These are unprecedented times. We know that women and mothers often bear a disproportionate share of the brunt of family stress. As a mother, managing your maternal and emotional well-being is more important than ever.

Make Time For Self-Care

As a mother, you devote so much time and energy into caring for your children that it’s important to take some downtime yourself. Take a walk, read a book, meditate, watch your favorite show, or take a long hot shower.

Remember that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential! Small acts of self-care can help move you forward in positivity and wellness.

Connect With Your Children

As we said before, becoming a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs in the entire world! Even though all of the stress and chaos of current times, it’s important to connect and spend quality time with your children and families. Go on a nature hike, play a board game, or make dinner together. Don’t let the pandemic stand in the way of creating family memories.

Talk About How You Feel

Worrying can occupy a great deal of your time and energy and drain you both physically and emotionally. It’s important that you don’t carry the burden entirely. You want to truly enjoy motherhood, not just survive it.

This is especially important to remember during a pandemic. Therapy can help you release those feelings in a safe space. You can learn to control your reactions and to make a plan for taking care of yourself while you’re taking care of the little kids.

Elizabeth Edwards has a passion for working with women and couples struggling with parenting, perinatal and postpartum concerns in our Fuquay-Varina office. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support!

Support Through Your Journey of Grief

Many women and families suffer alone when it comes to pregnancy and infant loss. In fact, until the 20th century, women were forbidden to speak of their loss. Grieving was internalized and stigmatized. Past generations rarely talked about pregnancy and infant loss, and for years, were saddled with the grief.

Overtime, these pent up feelings can manifest in dangerous ways. Those suffering are at risk for developing mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts. It’s never healthy to suppress your feelings, especially when it comes to infant and pregnancy loss.

Thankfully, in 1988, President Ronald Regan proclaimed October as National Month of Mourning in remembrance of those babies who have gone before us. It helps put the spotlight on the topic by spreading awareness. Families across the country are able to connect and share their stories as they navigate the waters of grief.

Loss is something everyone deals with to some degree, but the loss of a baby or the loss of the expectation of being able to get pregnant can shatter one’s world view, challenge your faith and test your relationships. As with any death or loss, grief support is an essential part of the healing process. Women and their families need support and guidance to walk through their struggles.

This and every month, our therapist Elizabeth Edwards focuses her work on guiding women and couples struggling with parenting, perinatal and postpartum concerns in our Fuquay-Varina office. She can help cope with the anxiety, guilt and sadness following pregnancy loss and termination, including postpartum depression, as well as couples challenged by infertility.

You don’t have to walk alone. Wherever you’re at in your journey of loss, you would want to feel better and, to have the pain go away to make sense of your situation. Therapy could help you process your feelings and thoughts in a safe space with a caring provider that can help you walk through the grieving process.

You can move forward with hope.

3 Dangerous Myths About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is more common than you think! Studies show that around 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression and/or anxiety at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, PPD is often misunderstood which further complicates an already frustrating time in a mother’s life. We’re putting the spotlight on Postpartum Depression and Anxiety by shattering these three damaging myths.

1. It will go away on it’s own. Postpartum depression and anxiety are not minor issues that should be dismissed or brushed aside. Suppressing feelings of sadness and anxiety will only make them worse. The good news is that PPD is highly treatable! Remember, it’s not just something that you can “get over” on your own.

2. Women with PPD cause harm. Most women who suffer from PPD will NOT cause harm to themselves or their children. In fact, this is a very dangerous misconception. Having PPD does not make you a bad mother or person. It’s normal to experience feelings of guilt and sadness. These feelings usually lead to symptoms like withdraw and depression.

3. Women with PPD cry constantly. You can never really know what a person is going through on their journey. With PPD, the range of symptoms looks different for every woman. Some women do cry often. Others experience anger and resentment. Some moms suffer in silence. Even women with mild or moderate symptoms of PPD should seek treatment for a happier life.

Above all, don’t let the misconceptions stop you from getting help. In order to get on the road to healing, it’s important to work with a licensed professional who understands perinatal and postpartum concerns.

At Foundations Family Therapy, Elizabeth Edwards works with women struggling with parenting and perinatal/ postpartum concerns. She can help with feelings of anxiety, guilt and sadness in a mother’s life.