What I’ve Learnt Working in Perinatal Psychology

by | Feb 10, 2020 | Child Psychology, Children, Depression, Parenting, Perinatal, Post Natal Depression, Relationships, Self-Care, What to expect | 0 comments

 Having recently joined the Centre for Effective Living, Lauren shares her experience working with perinatal mental health.

Although having a baby often brings lots of excitement, it can also be a stressful time of change. As a new Psychologist at the Centre for Effective Living, I bring my special interest in working with parents in the perinatal period – the time from the infant’s conception to the first year after birth. In the past I have worked with new parents both individually and within group programs conducting Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is the recommended, first-line treatment for individuals experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression.

I look forward to working with new parents here at the Centre for Effective Living, and supporting them in their journey of parenthood. For now, here are three tips for how to take care of yourself as a new parent:

  1. Schedule time for yourself. Consider simple ways to recharge even in busy times. It could be taking an extra 10 minutes to enjoy your dinner, listening to a podcast while feeding baby, or joining a pram walking group with other parents.
  2. Remember to give yourself credit for the things you do well. Parents often have high standards for themselves, which may make them focus on their imperfections, and overlook their strengths. So intentionally make time to celebrate the things you do well! As Jill Churchill said, “There is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a good one”.
  3. Ask for help. Research shows that around 1 in 7 mums and 1 in 10 dads will experience high levels of distress with a new baby. If you are having difficulty, it is important to seek support early to help you get better as soon as possible. Talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust, whether it is a friend, your doctor, or a psychologist.