Are you struggling to adjust to pregnancy, parenting, or postpartum life? Do you feel unable to bond with your baby? Have depression or anxiety overshadowed your experience of becoming a new mom?
Maybe you don’t feel like yourself ever since you gave birth—you can’t stop crying and can hardly eat or sleep. Perhaps you can’t let the baby out of your sight because you’re always worried that something bad will happen. Or maybe parenting doesn’t seem to come “naturally” to you—you don’t feel anything towards your baby and you’re not sure what you’re even supposed to feel. If you’re a new father, you might feel plagued with self-doubt, unsure of how to fit in with the mother-and-child bond.
You might be experiencing significant grief from a pregnancy loss. Or perhaps you’re unable to get pregnant or carry a baby to full-term. The thought that you might not be able to give birth could fill you with anticipatory grief or even make you feel broken, as if something is wrong with you.
Whether you’re pregnant, new to parenting, suffering from infertility, or your relationship is impacted by the stress and strains of the perinatal period, we encourage you to pursue therapy with us. Here at Darcy Bailey & Associates Counselling, we want to help you navigate your perinatal mental health issues so that you can feel like yourself again.
There are so many myths about motherhood in our society. It’s often portrayed as the happiest time of a woman’s life—bonding is supposed to be effortless, breastfeeding is supposed to be natural, and new moms aren’t supposed to miss life before their baby. Our culture is full of depictions of the “perfect family.” As a result, many new moms aren’t prepared for how stressful and exhausting motherhood can be.
What’s more, all these unrealistic expectations create many barriers for women. When bonding isn’t easy and parenting isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, they often feel like there’s something wrong with them. This creates a culture of shame for new parents and makes it hard for them to admit they’re struggling.
The Numbers Do Not Lie—Marginalized People Suffer Disproportionately During Motherhood
Here in Canada, the rate of perinatal mental health challenges has risen from one-in-five new parents to one-in-three since the pandemic. The rate is even higher for marginalized people—Black mothers are 40 percent more likely to suffer from postpartum depression than the average mother, and indigenous mothers are 20 percent more likely.
Put simply, life is hard for new moms and dads, especially those who are disenfranchised by society and don’t have adequate social support. And even for those with support, motherhood is still incredibly hard. This is why it’s so important to talk to a perinatal therapist who is deeply empathetic and understands all the mental health challenges of motherhood.
Many new parents feel like they have to put on a confident, put-together façade and appear to have it all figured out. Therapy is a chance to freely shed that façade and show up as your authentic self. At Darcy Bailey & Associates Counselling, you’re free to express the good, the bad, and the ugly without fear of judgment.
In addition to offering counselling for new mothers, we provide services for partners and loved ones of those giving birth, as we know that perinatal issues can be equally difficult for them. Our practice helps new fathers, LGBTQ+ parents, and anyone else navigating perinatal issues.
Through psychoeducation, we’ll help you better understand the ups and downs of the postpartum experience. We’ll also give you the skills to handle your challenges so that you can become the parent, partner, and person you’ve always wanted to be.
Caring for your mental health is paramount to your healing. We’ll work together with you and your loved ones to create a safety and wellness plan for dealing with the more serious aspects of perinatal mood disorders. Our goal is to ensure the health and wellbeing of you and your baby.
We take a holistic, trauma-informed approach to maternal mental health counselling. Some of the main healing methods we use include:
No matter which approach works best for you, we are confident that we can help you get through this challenging time of life. Our mission is to help you feel calm, confident, and connected as you journey from pregnancy to parenting and beyond.
This is a common fear. We’re here to help you become the best parent you can be, not take your baby away. Your baby needs you—strengthening the bond between you both is of the utmost importance to us. What’s more, we are not going to think you’re crazy. Many, many parents experience intrusive thoughts about their babies and worry about terrible things happening. We’re here to validate your experience, support you, and remind you that these thoughts are normal.
Comparing yourself to others is rarely helpful. After all, virtually everyone knows someone else who’s had a worse perinatal experience than them. This does not make your experience less important or relevant. It’s a period of life that affects everyone differently. What you’ve experienced is your own personal story and is 100 percent worthy of being witnessed and supported.
Our maternal mental health therapist, Raelene Hurry, has had training in perinatal mood disorders as well as birth and reproductive trauma. She is well-equipped to deal with a wide range of maternal mental health issues and would be honoured to support you on your journey.
If you want help navigating pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, or any other perinatal issues, we are confident that therapy can help. To connect with us, you can use the contact form or call 604-533-9163.