At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for New Mom Parenting Anxiety. Our approach is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs. We are located on the border of San Jose and Saratoga by Westgate Mall and serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, and Campbell.
What is New Mom Parenting Anxiety?
Anxiety and worry about the beginning of parenthood is universal for new parents. Many new moms find themselves worrying about the health of their baby, feeding the new baby, and whether they are a “good mom” and doing the “right things.” Some worry is understandable, and even productive but for some women the anxiety becomes distressing, excessive and uncontrollable and begins to interfere with their functioning.
Symptoms of New Mom Parenting Anxiety
- Excessive worry about whether you are doing the right things as a new mom and whether you are being a “good mom”
- Excessive worry about your baby’s health and development and whether your parenting skills may not be good enough and actually cause problems in your baby’s future development
- Comparing yourself to other moms to see if you measure up
- Irritability, tension, and difficulty concentrating that is beyond what would be expected in early parenting
- Trouble falling or staying asleep due to excessive worry
- Surfing the internet excessively about issues that worry you
- Changes in your functioning, including difficulty completing work, more conflict with your partner, or feeling isolated from friends and family
- Reassurance seeking from others about whether you are caring for your newborn the right way
Cognitive Behavioral Model of New Mom Parenting Anxiety
From a CBT perspective, excessive worry during early parenthood is viewed as a way to avoid experiencing negative emotions. You probably don’t want to feel fear, sadness and other normal but negative emotions, especially related to your new baby, so you may unwittingly use worry as a distraction tool. You may also believe that worrying will prepare you for negative events or prevent them from occuring. Unfortunately, the worry process itself creates anxiety on top of your original emotions and perpetuates the anxiety cycle. You may engage in “safety behaviors” to reduce your worry such as searching the internet for reassurance that your baby is healthy or excessively seeking reassurance from doctors or other caregivers. While these behaviors may relieve anxiety in the short-term over time they perpetuate the anxiety cycle and can make your anxiety more intense.
Cognitive Behavior Treatment of New Mom Parenting Anxiety
CBT for New Mom Parenting Anxiety typically includes some or all of the following therapy components:
- Education: Learn about the cognitive, physical, and behavioral components of worry, and the difference between helpful and unhelpful worry. Learn what’s normal in early parenthood and reasonable expectations of yourself and your partner
- Self-Monitoring: Track the details of your worry episodes (triggers, thoughts, action responses, and frequency, intensity, duration of anxiety and worry) to identify your worry patterns and guide the treatment plan.
- Relaxation: Diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga and other relaxation exercises can help relieve some of the physical symptoms that accompany pregnancy and postpartum anxiety. Over time, regular practice of relaxation exercises can bring down your baseline state of anxiety so, when you do become physically aroused, it doesn’t feel as intense or out of control.
- Cognitive Strategies: Identify and change the thinking patterns that are maintaining your anxiety cycle, evaluate your parenting skills more realistically, develop realistic expectations of being a good mom, solve day-to-day problems, tolerate uncertainty and decrease your use of worry to control negative outcomes.
- Behavioral Strategies: In a planned and gradual manner, start confronting your fears about motherhood to learn to be less afraid of new parenting situations and to fully experience your emotions. By exposing yourself to your fears without avoiding or escaping from them, you will, paradoxically, gain more control over them and it will decrease your anxiety over time.
How to Get Help for New Mom Parenting Anxiety
The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley is located at 1475 Saratoga Avenue on the border of San Jose and Saratoga by Westgate Mall. With our convenient location between highways 85 and 280, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Cupertino and Campbell, CA. Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you manage your New Mom Parenting Anxiety.
Serving the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Santa Clara, CA
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