At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression. Our approach is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs.
What is Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression?
Many women experience the “baby blues” after giving birth, which can involve mood swings, anxiety, crying spells, difficulty sleeping, and decreased concentration. Often these symptoms begin to lessen on their own as you adjust to your new baby and parenthood. Other women, however, experience more severe and long-lasting symptoms that meet the criteria for postpartum depression.
Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression is characterized by periods of sadness beginning within 4 weeks of giving birth. Studies suggest that up to 1 in 5 women will experience significant depressive symptoms during these early stages of parenthood. While mood changes can be a normal part of adjustment, frequent periods of sadness, irritability and crying spells, along with withdrawal from friends and family, difficulty bonding you’re your baby and, in some cases, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide, are indicators of a more serious problem.
Symptoms of Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression
- Depressed or irritable mood for most of the day, almost everyday
- Difficulty bonding with and caring for your baby
- Withdrawal from family and friends and other social interactions
- Difficulty falling and staying asleep that isn’t related to your baby’s sleep patterns
- Low energy and fatigue
- Feelings of shame, guilt and inadequacy as a mother
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
Cognitive Behavioral Model of Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression
There is evidence that changes in hormone levels after giving birth may make some women vulnerable to postpartum/post-pregnancy depression. Sleep deprivation and the exhaustion that go along with caring for a new baby can also reduce your coping abilities and make you more susceptible to depression. Other factors that seem to contribute to postpartum/post-pregnancy depression include difficulty feeding a new baby, financial problems, relationship stress, and little support from friends and family. For most, postpartum/post=pregnancy depression develops due to a combination of these factors.
In the cognitive behavioral model, postpartum/post-pregnancy depression is thought to be maintained negative and often unrealistic beliefs about yourself and your capabilities as a mother. You may be very critical of yourself and have difficulty seeing any positives in your skills as a mother and caring for your baby. You may blame yourself when your baby cries, doesn’t sleep well or has difficulty feeding. This type of thinking may then lead you to refrain from healthy and rewarding activities, including exercise, spending time outside your home, and accepting help from your support system, which then further increases feelings of depression and negative thinking.
Cognitive Behavior Treatment of Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps women struggling with postpartum/post-pregnancy depression to increase positive and fulfilling experiences as mothers, while also modifying negative and unrealistic thoughts and interpretations about themselves. You will be guided in monitoring your mood and the accompanying thoughts and behaviors, which will help you understand how negative thinking exacerbates depressed feelings and can lead to unhealthy coping. Your therapist will help you to evaluate negative thoughts and develop more realistic and helpful ways to think about your baby and your skills as a mother. Your therapist will also collaborate with you to increase your participation in fun and rewarding activities and strike a balance between bonding and caring for your baby and taking personal time for rejuvenation and self-care. Your therapist will also partner with your doctor to help determine if medication may lessen your symptoms.
How to Get Help for Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression
The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley provides therapy and counseling for women with postpartum/post-pregnancy depression. With our convenient location near Highway 85 and Saratoga Avenue, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Cupertino and Campbell, CA. Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you manage your Postpartum/Post-Pregnancy Depression.
Serving the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, CA
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