Perinatal: Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?

Perinatal: Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?

The perinatal period of a woman’s life can feel like a roller coaster. A slow start going up the elevated railway with steep inclines and descents coupled with curves and sudden changes in speed and direction.

On the outside, looking at the roller coaster looks like a great time-like pregnancy. Scrolling through your feed on social media moms are picture perfect, babies are so cute, and couples appear engaged and in love with the new addition to the family. But enduring pregnancy can be no walk in the park.

Emotional Wellness During Pregnancy

What does emotional wellness mean?  According to the National Center for Emotional Wellness, the term refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and your ability to manage effectively through challenges and change. Emotional wellness during pregnancy looks like verbalizing needs and sharing your feelings with others, prioritizing your physical health and diet, feeling good about who you are, saying “no” when you need to, and being aware of your thoughts and emotions.

So…Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?

Symptoms

Let’s explore some not-so-commonly spoken about perinatal symptoms:

  • Pregnancy acne/rash
  • Yeast infections
  • Incontinence
  • Labor pains
  • Hyperemesis
  • Metallic taste
  • Sensitivity to smells
  • Hypervigilance
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in libido
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vivid dreams
  • Newborn acne
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Nosebleeds

Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are very common for moms during pregnancy and postpartum. Intrusive thoughts are distressing unwanted thoughts that pop into our heads without warning, at any time. Examples of intrusive thoughts are thoughts of pacifying your baby’s crying with a pillow, thoughts of falling while walking down the stairs with your baby, thoughts of placing your baby inside the microwave, etc.

Changes in Support System

As a therapist, something moms often discuss during sessions is the changes within their friendships and family support systems. Friends and family who were once supportive go missing. Friends and family who were excited about the baby during pregnancy and meeting the baby are often unavailable to provide support for mom and baby on a day-to-day basis. Moms also shy away from important relationships in fear that asking for help may be a burden. And vice versa- friends and family may be under the assumption that they should not reach out because the mom is too busy with a newborn.

Need Help Processing Your ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me?’

If you need some help understanding this important time of your life, please get in touch with me. I’m more than happy to discuss how group therapy can help.

Lizzette Mambru is the group facilitator for Mom’s Voice, a virtual support group that welcomes mothers who are or think they are struggling with Postpartum Depression and/or Anxiety to a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental space to learn and process together.

Lizzette Mambru is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist currently working with adults that want to address various issues such as trauma, mood disorders, and behavioral/emotional issues. She believes in client-centered and eclectic techniques as the best approach to address the client’s needs. She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Solution Focused techniques, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

Lizzette received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Florida State University and earned her Master’s Degree in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She has clinical experience working in a drug rehabilitation treatment center serving individual, group, couple, and family counseling. She has experience working with women’s issues including perinatal mental health, infant mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual/physical abuse, grief/loss, mood disorders, anger issues, anxiety, family issues, adjustment issues, etc.

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