Transition to Parenthood

Starting a family can be an exciting time, but can also be a time rife with stress, fear and isolation.  Whether coping with pregnancy, experiencing the aftermath of childbirth, transitioning to motherhood, raising infants and children, or balancing the demands of work and family, feelings of sadness, anxiety and stress are not uncommon. Unfortunately, though these struggles are common, they are often not discussed or, worse, considered taboo.  Most if not all women struggle at some point during childbearing years.

During perinatal and postpartum periods, common thoughts and fears include:

  1. “I’m supposed to be happy and I feel overwhelmed.  Why am I not feeling the way people tell me I should be feeling?”
  2. “Do these thoughts and feelings make me a bad person? A bad parent?”
  3. “What if family and friends think I’m crazy?”
  4. “Am it cut out to be a parent?”
  5. “What happens if I tell someone about these feelings?  Will they try to take away my child?”

You are not alone, and therapy can help.  The first steps are to acknowledge and process these feelings, so true healing can begin.  In a safe and supportive space and with time and attention to the self, parents can regain a sense of stability, calm, purpose and confidence.  They can also learn how to balance family relationships with the relationship to the self.

Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum DepressionBy Brooke Shields

This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depressionby Karen Kleiman MSW and Valerie Ralsin MD

Postpartum Support International

Books on Pregnancy Loss and Stillborn:

Empty Arms: Hope and Support for Those Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Tubal Pregnancy
by Pam Vredevelt

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Lossby Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen