After the birth of a child, many women anticipate feelings of joy, excitement, and awe of this wonderful experience and the honor of getting to be their child’s mother. However, many are shocked, disappointed, and embarrassed to find that much of their positive experiences are overshadowed by feelings of depression, guilt, sadness, and lack of hope.


 

What Exactly is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a complicated depression that is caused by both hormonal and environmental changes after having a child. Many women feel an extreme amount of shame and embarrassment for these feelings, yet “baby blues” and postpartum depression are incredibly common experiences.

How is Postpartum Depression Treated?

Postpartum depression is best treated through an eclectic approach that addresses the physical, emotional, social, interpersonal, and perceptual changes that occur after having a child. While children can often be the joy of life, they can also bring about great changes to almost every area of one’s life and bring a great deal of stress along with these changes. Treatment goals focus on finding healthy ways to navigate this life transition and regain a sense of balance and joy in one’s life.

What If I have Postpartum Anxiety?

Postpartum depression usually gets the most attention from medical providers, but postpartum anxiety is incredibly common as well. Women who previously suffered little anxiety may find themselves paralyzed by fear or obsessions about the baby’s safety, their future, or seemingly small frustrations. Like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety is caused by both hormonal changes and environmental stressors. And also like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety can be tried from a multisystemic approach.

Common Focus of Postpartum Depression Counseling Includes:

  • Adjusting to motherhood
  • Stress from having one or more children
  • Anxiety about being a “good mother” or a child’s health
  • Self-care and how to prioritize the most important needs
  • Body image distress
  • Work-life balance
  • Changes in the marital/couples relationship
  • Feelings of shame, sadness, and hopelessness

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Fill out the form below or call us at (480) 999-7070 for a free 10 minute consultation on how we can help with postpartum depression.

Postpartum Depression Counseling FAQs

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is caused by a combination of biological, hormonal, and environmental changes. After the birth of a child, the rapid and significant drop in estrogen and progesterone levels may produce moderate to significant feelings of sadness or distress in some women. In addition to hormonal changes, changes in sleep patterns, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, and physical recovery may further exacerbate the feelings of distress. Lastly, unanticipated hardship of having a new baby, feelings of inadequacy, concern over lack of bonding with the baby or feeling overwhelmed creates the “perfect storm” for postpartum depression (or anxiety).

What are Signs & Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression (PPD) include:

Mood Changes – Feelings of sadness all day or decreased interest in activities that were previously enjoyed. This can result in feelings of anger, frustration, guilt, worthlessness, crying, irritability, restlessness, agitation, tearfulness, or suicidal thoughts or actions.

Biological Changes – insomnia or hypersomnia, weight loss or weight gain

Cognitive Changes– difficulty concentrating, changes in memory

How Long Can Postpartum Depression Last?

While the physical reaction to hormonal fluctuations after the birth of the baby usually abate after 6 weeks, the biological changes and environmental changes may persist much longer. Symptoms of “baby blues” usually begin within the first few days after delivery and fade away between two weeks and 6 weeks postpartum. However, postpartum depression produces much more significant symptoms that may persist for months to years after the birth of the child if no intervention or treatment is pursued.

Can Men Experience Postpartum Depression?

While men do not experience the hormonal changes after the birth of a child, they experience the biological changes such as sleep deprivation and environmental changes that can result in feelings of helplessness, frustration, inadequacy, and feeling overwhelmed. These experiences can cause significant distress in men and cause clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety after the birth of a child.

Meet our Team

Dr. Melissa Estavillo, PsyD

DR. MELISSA ESTAVILLO, PsyD

Doctorate and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), relationship / marriage counseling, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD / Trauma, Grief, Spiritual Integration, Medical Counseling, Immigration Evaluation Services

Nicholette Aragon, LMFT

NICHOLETTE ARAGON, LMFT

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Arizona State University
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), relationship / marriage counseling, individual therapy, PTSD / trauma, faith-based counseling, grief and loss, parenting/coparenting issues, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, work/life stressors

Danielle Corrales, LMFT

DANIELLE CORRALES, LMFT

M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy,
Arizona State University
B.S. Family and Human Development,
Arizona State University

Practice Areas: Relationship / marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, grief and loss, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, life changes, work/life stressors

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Susan Self

SUSAN SELF, LPC

M.S. Counseling and Human Services,
University of Toledo

B.S. Psychology,
Bowling Green State University

Practice Areas: relationship / marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, parenting, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, career decisions, caring for aging relatives, life changes, work/life stressors

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Our postpartum depression counselors apply professional expertise and understanding to provide the best holistic counseling services in Phoenix, AZ.

A 10-min consultation can help you determine whether our services would be the right fit for you. Call us today for a free phone consultation.

(480) 999-7070