One of the many things that changes after having a baby (or even during pregnancy) is your relationship with your parents or in-laws. Many couples find themselves frustrated with their parents’ advice, opinions, or insistence on doing things a certain way, to name a few. It can be difficult trying to figure out how to manage this new dynamic while you’re barely holding on, juggling to get the basics done every day.
Going through fertility treatments can be such an emotional rollercoaster. Starting out, you may feel hopeful that all your efforts will pay off, then you’re devastated when a cycle doesn’t work out. You question everything you possibly could have done wrong, only to find the determination and strength to try again. It’s difficult to ride this rollercoaster without maintaining some hope that what you’re doing will work out eventually.
But how much hope is ok?
The changes that come along with having a baby are numerous and often surprising. We live in a society where women are expected to “bounce back” from pregnancy and childbirth - resume work or your typical daily routine, somehow exist on little sleep, and get your pre- pregnancy body back. How many times have you heard someone say “she looks great for just having a baby!” or “she still has some baby weight to lose”? It’s as if losing the baby weight is your next greatest achievement in life.
Photo by Alex Pasarelu courtesy of Unsplash
There is so much confusion about what are typical postpartum feelings and what warrants a conversation with your healthcare provider. If you try to talk to friends or family, you will likely be given some inaccurate information. Unfortunately, sometimes even doctors may not recognize the signs of postpartum depression or anxiety.
I'm pleased to share that I will now be offering a postpartum support group for mothers via egg donation! I will be co-facilitating the group with my colleague, Jackie Biello, LPC, at my Chatham office. Please contact me for more info about joining the group.
Photo by Tim Gouw
If you are someone who has always been committed to exercising regularly, then pregnancy probably hasn't slowed you down much. You know how vital exercise is to your well-being. So I’m sure that during your pregnancy you were already planning your postpartum return to exercise. Like many parts of motherhood, returning to exercise after having a baby can throw you some curveballs. It will take some planning and adjusting of your expectations.
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Talking to your kids about mental health struggles is not something that comes naturally for most parents. You may wonder how much information should you share? What is the right age to talk about this? What can young children even understand about depression or anxiety?
When you're struggling with infertility, there are so many things that you don't want to face - pregnancy announcements, congratulating people on their pregnancy, baby showers, basically anything that relates to still not being pregnant. And there are often occasions where people don't realize that their innocent questions or well- meaning comments are actually painful to bear.
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Does self-care sound like a really amazing idea but you never seem to be able to get to it? You’re way too busy doing what you need to do for work, getting those annoying but necessary things done like laundry and making dinner, and then trying to squeeze some time in for the important people in your life.
You’re constantly doing things All. Day. Long. Where is self-care possibly supposed to fit in anyway?
Photo by Matthew Henry
You’re probably familiar with postpartum depression and know a little about it. Maybe you even know someone who’s battled postpartum depression. But what about postpartum anxiety?
Laura Winters, LCSW is a therapist specializing in infertility and prenatal/postpartum stress. Laura's practice is located in Chatham and Mountain Lakes, NJ. Learn more about her services here.