Postpartum depression is a severe mental health issue that can affect females after giving birth and also males after becoming fathers. It may begin within a week of giving birth, or it may take a year to come about – but no matter when it comes, postpartum depression is associated with frequent mood swings, anxiety, and exhaustion.
This article explains how to find a therapist who can help you overcome postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Want to skip right to the suggestions for postpartum therapists? Here are our 2 recommended therapy solutions:
Postpartum therapist near me
Below, we’ve looked at two services that can connect you with a postpartum therapist near you or online.
BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that allows you to find a postpartum therapist in just a few clicks. It connects you with the best possible counselor, given the issue you’re going through, and your preferences in a therapist.
When signing up, you’ll fill out a short questionnaire and explain that you’re looking for help with postpartum issues. BetterHelp will then match you with a therapist who has experience helping others with similar problems. They will also take into account other preferences, such as whether you’d prefer a female therapist.
Once you join the platform, you can communicate with your therapist in four ways: exchanging messages, chatting live, speaking on the phone, or via video conference.
This is a subscription-based platform – you pay a weekly fee for access. One weekly therapy session is included in the price, as well as the ability to message your therapist as much as you’d like in between each session. This allows you to get help much sooner if difficulties arise during the week.
Before joining BetterHelp, therapists must prove that they are licensed, qualified professionals, with a significant amount of counseling experience, and the appropriate education for the type of therapy that they provide.
However, BetterHelp is not a good option if you need emergency assistance, are a minor, or don’t have a stable internet connection. In these cases, you may want to see a doctor or seek out a postpartum therapist in person, using a service such as the directory we’ve looked at below.
2. Postpartum Support International directory
Postpartum Support International directory lists the details of postpartum-related therapists for mothers and fathers going through this traumatic experience. If you want to see a postnatal therapist in-person, psidirectory.com is the best option for getting information about the therapists practicing in your area.
To get help, navigate to the homepage, and type in your zip code in the box on the right. You do not need to fill out the box on the left, but if you’re looking for a specific type of support, such as counseling for fathers, you can type this in if you’d prefer.
Click the search button, and a list of therapists experienced in helping new moms and dads will be displayed. You can view additional details about each therapist on their profile, such as who they specialize in helping, and the types of therapy techniques they employ.
The one issue with the Postpartum Support International directory is in some locations, there aren’t many therapists available. The vast majority of the providers are located in major cities, which can make it a bit hard to find help, depending on where you live.
Problems faced by women with postpartum depression
Women go through many changes during pregnancy, such as hormonal and weight changes. Pregnancy can also cause a huge emotional toll on women. As a result, one in seven women who give birth develop postpartum depression, also known as baby blues.
Women who develop severe postpartum depression face a lot of difficulty in making a bond with their babies and nursing them properly. You may also encounter extremely negative thoughts, mood swings, and an inability to develop an emotional connection with your child.
As a result, you feel emotionally exhausted and helpless. Leading you to develop feelings of intense stress, guilt, and regret.
Problems faced by men with postpartum depression
Some people don’t realize how postpartum depression can affect men; however, one out of every 10 males suffers from postpartum depression after their child’s birth. Generally, men do not understand that postpartum depression is real, and if they do understand it is an issue, they do not accept that they are suffering from it.
Acceptance is important for treating postpartum depression – only once you accept the issue can a therapist help you overcome your anxieties and difficulties.
Mood swings, irritable behavior, loss of interest in your favorite things, and less frequent communication with friends and family are a few symptoms of male postpartum depression. This condition may also cause a loss of connection between the father and their child.
Causes of postpartum depression
There are a number of different causes of postpartum and postnatal depression. The issue can affect all new mothers and fathers, but some people are more susceptible to this condition than others.
Causes of postpartum depression include:
- Past traumas
- Hormonal changes
- Family history of depression
- A stressful environment at home
- Physical and emotional stress during the delivery of the baby
- Feeling overwhelmed while holding up the baby
- Feeling unattractive during/after pregnancy
- Complications during delivery
- A preterm birth
- Lack of a support system
- Difficulty in breastfeeding
- Giving birth at a young age
How to know if you need a postpartum therapist
The main signs that you should consider seeing a postpartum therapist include:
- Feelings of depression
- Mood swings
- Emotional instability
- Pulling away from friends and family
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in bonding with your baby
- Feeling that you can not take of your baby
- Anxiety issues
Who is a postpartum depression therapist?
A postpartum depression therapist is a mental health professional qualified in treating different psychological issues, and who has experience with helping postpartum depression patients.
Psychologists may have Ph.D. or Master’s degree, or may have done two-year training in psychology after college. Some psychiatrists are MBBS doctors and did a residency or specialization in psychology.
Generally, a psychotherapist is used for postpartum therapy to resolve your mental health issue, counsel you, clear your mind, and listen to your insecurities and concerns as you work through your issues.
A good psychotherapist has the ability to understand you, gives you a broader perspective on your issue, and makes you feel comfortable during any discussion, no matter the unwanted thoughts/feelings you are experiencing.
How can you manage postpartum depression?
The management options for postpartum depression include the following types of treatment.
As many people know, psychotherapy involves talking with a therapist and answering their questions. These sessions help you to reach catharsis and find better ways to cope with your feelings. Psychotherapy may involve treatment with medication as well.
In this case, psychotherapy helps you realize that you can take care of your child better than anyone else. It also helps to release stress and answer any queries you may have.
Releasing tension in this way helps you balance your hormones, which can be aggravated by overstressing when you have postpartum depression. There are many types of psychotherapy used to aid in postpartum depression, such as the following.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Interpersonal psychotherapy
- Behavioral psychotherapy
- Integrative psychotherapy
- Constructive psychotherapy
- Systemic psychotherapy
- Supportive psychotherapy
If you see a psychiatrist for help with postnatal depression, they may recommend antidepressants, depending on your condition. Although, during breastfeeding, some antidepressants are not given as they may affect breast milk and, ultimately, the baby. However, many antidepressants can be used during breastfeeding.
Whether or not antidepressants are used is based on a patient’s condition, especially whether the patient is stabilizing after going through psychotherapy sessions or not. If the patient is responding to sessions, then antidepressants are not given.
Research suggests that after giving birth, levels of estrogen, progesterone, and sex hormones drop significantly, which plays an enormous role in developing postpartum depression. Hormone therapy can help you to cope with postpartum depression as it helps to make hormone levels normal, and eases stress.
As medications, hormonal therapy may have some side effects, including:
- Weight changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pains
- Migraine and headaches
- Hair loss
- Enlargement of uterine fibroids
- Vaginal infections
Depending upon your situation, medication for insomnia and anxiety may be given for a short period to minimize stress, and to help with sleep.
Regular physical and mental exercises
You shouldn’t treat postpartum depression or any other medical issue without a doctor’s input. However, exercises such as the ones below have zero side effects (provided they are done safely, given your physical health), and can be practiced freely at home:
- Spending time in nature
All these exercises have some techniques that can be learned easily at home through resources such as YouTube videos. They can help with the prevention of postpartum depression, and they can also aid in treatment by balancing your hormones. In addition, these exercises also help ease your mind by relieving stress.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy involves passing a small electric current through the brain, initiating a brief seizure. This therapy is done in severe instances of postpartum depression when the patient develops psychosis (a form of hallucination when one loses connection with reality).
This therapy is usually done to change brain chemistry, balance brain chemicals, and reduce the symptoms of severe depression and psychosis.
Postpartum depression can be exhausting and can make you feel isolated, so it is crucial to take out time for yourself and connect with your family and friends.
Self-care can also be done in many different ways, like going to the hairdresser, having a spa day or body massage, going out shopping, and buying your favorite things. All these gestures are involved in self-care, which gives you a greater sense of self-worth and self-confidence.
How does postpartum therapy work?
Often, mothers and fathers feel like they are under extreme pressure after becoming parents. You can join therapy sessions as an individual or couple to overcome these feelings.
A therapist will help you speak out about how you feel and help you work through your issues. They will analyze your situation’s severity and will select the type of therapy that will best help you to overcome depression.
A professional will understand your concerns and situation and will provide you with better ways to cope with these feelings. Practical solutions, realistic parental goals, and reassurance of how you are doing with parenthood may be given through sessions with your therapist.
Postpartum depression is a severe condition that should not be ignored. This issue can prevent a mother from bonding with her baby, but it can also severely affect her mental health. If not counseled or appropriately treated, postpartum depression can become a significant mental health issue.
BetterHelp is a great resource to connect with a postpartum therapist online, or you can use the Postpartum Support International directory to seek out in-person help in certain cities.
If you’re not sure how to find the right postpartum depression therapist for you, feel free to leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you.