Archive for October, 2008

What does “Perinatal” mean?

I attended Postpartum Support International’s (PSI) seminar this last weekend in Tampa and was blown away by the presentations. The main presenter was Birdie Gunyon Meyer, the current president of PSI. Her committment and knowledge of the area of perinatal support is just incredible. And she was funny, which always makes a seminar or conference more enjoyable.

Most people are not familiar with the term “perinatal.” It covers the period from prenatal to postpartum, so is all inclusive. People tend to think of depression and anxiety as only occurring during the postpartum period, after someone has the baby. But there is a significant amount of women (about 10%) who experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy. If untreated, it puts them at higher risk for postpartum depression as well, but it should be acknowledged and treated during pregnancy.

PSI works to raise the awareness of the emotional changes that women experience during the entire perinatal period.


Time to yourself

A friend wrote me recently that she had some issues after birthing her babies and really needed the therapy time to herself. She would have never considered bringing her babies to session. I just want to put out there that, yes, take the time for yourself!

My page on postpartum depression says that you can bring your baby to session if you like. “If you like . . .” Some moms after giving birth have overwhelming anxiety about leaving their babies. And they can bring the baby with them if they like.

Some moms just want a break. And they can leave the baby at home.

I really encourage all new mothers to take time to themself somehow, some way. That may be therapy for some. For others, it’s an hour at the beach – alone. That may be a half hour soak in the tub with no interruptions, a quick trip to the bookstore, or maybe get out to a concert or movie you really want to see. You need the time to re-energize and re-coup.

So many times women think that they must never leave the baby. That somehow they will be a bad mom if they do (if you’re into the whole he/she thing, that sentence will drive you crazy 🙂 ). Just throw the whole “bad mom” guilt book away. Put it in the closet for an hour or two, leave the bay with someone trusted and take the time to yourself.