Becoming a parent, postpartum depression

Becoming a parent is life changing

Becoming a parent is a life changing decision with great impact. Great changes in your lives are most often associated with complex emotions. First and foremost it is associated with a sense of insecurity, because we are thrown into the unknown.

Starting out on the journey towards a lifelong identity as a parent is a unique and often stimulating phase of life. Not often are we required to redefine ourselves and the relationships to the people surrounding us in such a major way. At the same time, becoming a mother, going on maternity leave will also seem like an – at least temporary – goodbye to dimensions of your life that have had great value up until now. This might be: being an ambitious coworker, a wild girlfriend or someone who always has the extra time and energy to be with those in need of help.

You might struggle with: 

  • What aspects of my own childhood would I like to pass on to my own child?
  • What would I like to do differently?
  • Am I still interesting company?
  • Does my partner or spouse still find me attractive?
  • What are my expectations to my new family life?

Developing a new identitet

When developing a new identity as a mother it is common to make use of relationships to other mothers – both more experienced mothers such as your own but also other new mothers. This can be a great source of support.

However, facing other ways of doing and thinking of motherhood can also create a pressure or a comprehension of your way as being wrong or abnormal. In this case therapeutic sessions can create a safe and confident space for new perspectives and solutions to arise.

Treating postpartum depression

When becoming a parent, 10-15% of women and 7% of men experience psychological difficulties. This involves symptoms common to the challenges of becoming a parent. However, the are more severe and of longer duration and often professional help from a psychologist or other appropriate expertise is recommended.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are quite similar to a common depression og crisis and grief. However, they revolve around the challenges of being a mother. Common symptoms are:

  • Low self-esteem or trust in yourself as a parent
  • thoughts about death or suicide
  • difficulties with concentration and memory
  • increased irritability and feelings of numbness and indifference
  • changes in sleeping pattern
  • changes in appetite and weight

If you think you are in need of help or treatment facing the challenges of a postpartum reaction or depression, you are welcome to contact me.

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