Perinatal & Infertility

Perinatal Counseling

Perinatal and infertility therapy helps individuals and couples struggling with conception and the challenges surrounding pregnancy and the postpartum period. Therapy supports those dealing with the emotional, physical, and psychological aspects of infertility and perinatal experiences.

Therapy provides invaluable support for the postpartum community, aiding individuals in navigating the profound adjustments that come with their new roles as parents. Through therapy, new parents can explore and address the myriad emotions and challenges they may encounter during this transformative period. Therapists offer a safe space for processing feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, or depression, and provide coping strategies tailored to each individual's needs. Additionally, therapy fosters a sense of validation and empowerment, helping parents develop confidence in their abilities and make informed decisions about their family's well-being. Overall, therapy serves as a crucial resource in promoting mental health and facilitating a smoother transition into parenthood for those in the postpartum community.

What to Expect With Perinatal Mental Health Counseling

Our clients can expect to receive compassionate care during the perinatal period. Our therapists offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), and other therapeutic interventions. 

Adjusting to Being New Parents

The adjustment period helps the new parent(s) to acclimate to life with a baby. Therapy during the adjustment period helps with the attunement and attachment needs of both parent and child. By attuning to needs, new parents gain a better understanding of their emotions and behaviors, along with adjusting to their child’s emotions. Therapy allows parents to develop or enhance a multitude of skills, ranging from seeing life from a different perspective to building healthy relationships with their children.

Grief and Loss

Therapy plays a crucial role in supporting parents and families who are navigating grief and loss. Following childbirth, individuals may experience a range of emotions, from joy to profound sadness, especially if they've encountered miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal loss. Therapy offers a safe and compassionate space for individuals to process their grief, explore complex feelings, and develop coping strategies tailored to their unique experiences. Therapists equipped with specialized training in perinatal mental health provide invaluable support by validating emotions, fostering healing, and guiding individuals toward resilience and self-compassion during this challenging journey. Through therapy, individuals in the postpartum community can find solace, understanding, and a path toward renewed hope and healing.

Types of Traumatic Loss

Miscarriage- is the sudden loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week and occurs in roughly 10-20% of known pregnancies.   

Stillbirth- is the loss of a baby after the 20th week of gestation and before birth. A small number of stillbirths can occur during labor. 

Neonatal loss- is the loss of a child after delivery, within the first 28 days of life.

Prenatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Mood and anxiety disorders in new parents can range from common "baby blues" to more serious perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). About 80% of new parents experience mood swings and weepiness, known as the baby blues, within the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth, peaking around 3-5 days post-delivery. This is a normal adjustment period that usually resolves without medical assistance. In contrast, PMADs are more severe and typically do not resolve on their own, requiring professional intervention.

Risk factors for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) vary widely and depend on the specific disorder. Addressing PMADs involves understanding the unique risk factors associated with each category to provide effective support and treatment.

Types of PMADs

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD
  • Postpartum Psychosis
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Prenatal Trauma and PTSD

Therapy plays a crucial role in healing from traumatic birth experiences by providing a safe and caring space for individuals to process their emotions and experiences. Standard talk therapy offers a platform for individuals to express their feelings and receive validation, which can reduce feelings of isolation and helplessness. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), individuals can identify and shift negative thoughts and beliefs stemming from the traumatic event, helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another effective technique, and it aids in reprocessing distressing memories and reducing their emotional intensity. Additionally, participating in support groups also allows individuals to connect with others who have had similar experiences, fostering a sense of community and shared understanding. These therapeutic approaches collectively help individuals integrate the traumatic experience, promote emotional healing, and build resilience, ultimately aiding in their overall recovery and well-being.

Types of Birth Trauma

  • Prolapsed cord
  • Unplanned C-section
  • Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Neonatal Loss
  • Use of vacuum extractor or forceps to deliver the baby
  • Baby going to NICU
  • Feelings of powerlessness, poor communication and/or lack of support and reassurance during the delivery
  • Women who have experienced previous trauma, such as rape or sexual abuse, are also at a higher risk for experiencing postpartum PTSD.
  • Women who have experienced a severe physical complication or injury related to pregnancy or childbirth, such as severe postpartum hemorrhage, unexpected hysterectomy, severe preeclampsia/eclampsia, perineal trauma (3rd or 4th-degree tear), or cardiac disease.

PTSD Symptoms

  • Intrusive re-experiencing of a past traumatic event (which in this case may have been the childbirth itself)
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Avoidance of stimuli associated with the event, including thoughts, feelings, people, places, and details of the event
  • Persistent increased arousal (irritability, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response)
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Feeling a sense of unreality and detachment

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Get help for Perinatal and Infertility in the Nashville area

If you live in the Nashville area and are ready to get help for infertility, we are here to help. To begin individual counseling, follow these steps:

1. Contact our counseling office or call 615-235-3508 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation

2. Begin therapy and move forward with your life!

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Schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see if therapy with Willow Counseling is right for you.

Willow Leaf. Anxiety treatment with a therapist in Nashville can help you grow. Willow Counseling also offers trauma therapy, treatment for depression, and help for compassion fatigue in Nashville.

Begin individual therapy at Willow Counseling. Schedule an appointment to meet with one of our compassionate counselors.

Another photo of a willow leaf. Our Nashville therapists offer anxiety treatment for symptoms of anxiety. Willow Counseling also offers trauma therapy, treatment for depression, and help for compassion fatigue in Nashville.

Ready to stop walking this road alone? Explore our Group Therapy options to connect with others in your healing journey.

Other therapeutic services offered at Willow Counseling

Willow Counseling offers a variety of therapeutic services to help you on your road to healing & better mental health. Some of our other counseling services include counseling for trauma and EMDR therapy, therapy for compassion fatigue, and group counseling services for anxiety and compassion fatigue.  If you are ready to find healing and live in the Nashville area, our therapists are here to help!