maternal well being and family-building challenges


Research suggests that women may demonstrate a heightened vulnerability to hormonal changes, particularly following childbirth. Moreover, having a child involves enormous transition, combined with other risk factors such as lack of sleep, medical complications during childbirth, mixed feelings about the pregnancy, and lack of social support. In fact, women are more likely to develop depression and anxiety during this period than any other period in life.

In fact, baby blues are commonly experienced after birth, but typically clear up. When changes in mood persist and interfere with your quality of life, it is time to get help.

Postpartum depression is now known as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. This broader term acknowledges that women sometimes experience anxiety without depression after birth, and helps women understand that their symptoms fall under a larger spectrum of experiences. Approximately 20-25% of women experience a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.

affection baby

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can occur during pregnancy or up to one year postpartum. Some women may experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy, pregnancy loss, or when experiencing difficulty getting pregnant. Others may experience depression or anxiety following childbirth. Women with bipolar disorder also experience unique challenges during the perinatal period, with increased risk of mood disruption. 

Symptoms of a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder persist for an extended period of time and include:

  • low mood, tearfulness, feelings of persistent sadness, overwhelm
  • loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • anxiety
  • lack of energy, feelings of sluggishness
  • persistent self doubt
  • guilt, indifference
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
  • and/or intrusive thoughts 


affection baby

You may feel overwhelmed and lonely, or feel as if having a baby wasn't what you thought it was. This is natural and a function of the perinatal mood or anxiety disorder illness. The good news is that the illness is treatable and can get better with treatment, support, and help. Treatment approaches we provide include medication and psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy


I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. It was terrible. It was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same [after Moses was born]. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person … About four months into it, Chris [Martin] came to me and said, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong.’ I kept saying, ‘No, no, I’m fine.’ But Chris identified it, and that sort of burst the bubble … The hardest part for me was acknowledging the problem. I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child. But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it’s so important for women to talk about. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure.
— Gwyneth Paltrow

you're not alone. we're here to help.

At hope+wellness, we provide exceptional psychotherapy services to empower people to live happier, healthier lives. Our services are grounded in evidence-based treatments that suggest an important interconnectedness between mind, body, life experience, and wellness, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based therapies. We will work together to help you heal and develop the skills to live fully aware, fully resilient, fully peaceful, mindful, and alive.