Mother and Baby and Post Natal DepressionBy Dr. Christina Moutsou BSc MSc PhD UKCP Reg
Why Therapy for Mothers?
Recent statistics indicate that up to 50% of women can be suffering from some form of post natal depression in the first year after giving birth. It is rather astounding that up to half of all women with young babies could be classed as mentally ill and could be prescribed medication. At the other end of the spectrum, women are offered informal support through visiting a baby clinic and joining a post natal group. As valuable as such opportunities are, as it is well-known that isolation is one of the main factors contributing to Post Natal Depression (PND), they often offer little space for women to talk about negative feelings. In a world that idealises and/or denigrates motherhood, many mothers are afraid of being seen as incompetent or unwell if they don’t profess to being happy all the time. Rather than seeing difficult and uncomfortable feelings experienced after giving birth as an illness, many women would feel much more empowered if they were able to acknowledge these feelings and place them in the right context.
How can Therapy Help?
The two main factors contributing to significant emotional difficulty when having a baby are the lack of adequate supportive structures in one’s present life and unresolved issues around the mothering/parenting the mother had received as a child, which are almost certain to resurface when she is required to offer intensive mothering herself. Therapy provides a reflective and supportive space, a space where one can identify and name the difficulty, and therefore, can be more able to confront and change it. The therapy offered derives from a profound experience and understanding of many issues that mothers are facing. Through having a conversation and a dialogue with the therapist these issues can be acknowledged in a way that is both constructive and empowering.
Mother and Baby Sessions
Mothers are welcome to bring their babies along in the sessions, if they so wish. There is easy buggy access. Mobile babies and toddlers of over one year old, can be a significant challenge to the reflective space of therapy, and so arranging for separate childcare is advisable.
Emotional difficulties around mothering are often identified during pregnancy. Having therapy before the actual birth can facilitate the experience of giving birth and the transition into motherhood.
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Issue area(s): Depression
Therapy Type(s): Counselling, Psychotherapy