Low-cost postpartum therapy available

New mothers suffering from postpartum depression can get low-cost, confidential therapy sessions by the Family and Youth Counseling Agency.

The 50-minute sessions cost $10 each and are paid through a grant from The Healthy Mothers Program, a Christus Fund.

Caitlin Brown, a counselor at Family and Youth, said postpartum depression affects one in seven women. However, many don’t seek treatment because of its stigma and a lack of information. She said postpartum depression isn’t a character flaw or a weakness.

“It’s just a common complication after giving birth, and we’re here to help normalize it to make people understand it’s OK to feel this way,” she said.

Depression symptoms can range from three weeks to one year after a mother gives birth. Because hormone levels drop significantly in the days and weeks after a mother gives birth, many don’t understand their feelings.

“Then, the emotional aspect is you have this new baby,” she said. “You don’t have a manual on how to raise a child, and you’re overwhelmed. You might have a loss of identity and feel like your life is out of control.”

Women can experience stress, anxiety and trouble sleeping or eating. Brown said the counselors will help women identify stressors, set goals and develop strategies to work through postpartum depression.

Postpartum psychosis — the most extreme case of postpartum depression in which a woman wants to kill her baby — is very rare, Brown said. Typical postpartum depression is different from baby blues — a period of crying and feeling of being overwhelmed typically two weeks after giving birth.

To schedule a therapy session, call 439-9941.

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