Pregnancy Related Mood and Anxiety
Pregnancy and giving birth is transformative. Studies show that 80% percent of women have a positive experience. Gradually these women adjust to the new physical and emotional demands of motherhood. Slowly life takes on a new normal as mother and baby adjust.
For 20% of women, it’s not that way at all. These women find themselves on an emotional journey they never expected. Not feeling like themselves, they move through the pregnancy and/or postpartum experience feeling increasingly overwhelmed and exhausted. They can feel inadequate, anxious, sad, unmotivated, confused, angry – even terrified. Sleep deprived and desperate to cope, these new Moms inch further away from normal. They increasingly feel despair and or panic while trying to hide the turmoil inside.
These women are not failing motherhood. Rather they are experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy related anxiety and depression, the most common complication of childbirth. These symptoms have an all too real biological basis, and unfortunately do not get better on their own.
Fortunately, postpartum anxiety and depression is 100% treatable with a combination of supportive therapy and in some cases medication that is well established in the research literature as safe for both the mother and developing baby. Working cooperatively with you, your partner and other health care providers, you can soon feel normal again as life moves on for you and your little one.
One of the hardest feelings for a woman and a couple to tolerate is the longing for a child who won’t come. There are many decisions to be made about how far to go and when to stop as you negotiate the labyrinth of choices, both medical and personal. At Tompkins and Associates, we are sensitive to what you are going through and seek to gently hold you as you manage this journey of hope.
The death of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death presents one of life’s most devastating losses. Absorbing this loss is pain beyond description, profound sadness. Lost is not only your child but also your belief in the goodness of life itself. Honoring the loss, questions of trying again, daring to hope, and loyalty to your lost child are all matters that need time and a safe place to gently unfold. At Tompkins and Associates, we offer a private, supportive place to bring your sorrow as you struggle to understand the unimaginable and eventually try move forward.
DENISE TOMPKINS, PSY.D.
Dr. Denise Tompkins is a specialist in Anxiety and Mood Disorders for Pregnant and Postpartum women. She has been trained and certified by Postpartum Support International. She also received further postgraduate training in perinatal mood disorders studying under Karen Kleiman at the Postpartum Stress Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Tompkins has been instrumental in helping to develop a system wide perinatal mood and anxiety screening protocols for Edward Hospital and the surrounding community of Obstetric and Pediatric specialists. She trains medical personnel on how to screen for perinatal mood/anxiety issues. She co-led a postpartum support group for new mothers through Edward Hospital. As a perinatal mood specialist, Dr. Tompkins has been a presenter at the International Marcé Society conference. Dr. Tompkins is a member of Postpartum Support International.