Approximately 20% of mother’s (and 10% of fathers) will experience a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder (PMAD) making it the most common complication of childbirth. If you believe you may be experience a PMAD you are not alone. Becoming a parent, whether it’s for the first or fifth time, can be a big transition and that can mean big challenges. There are lots of good reasons to seek therapy during this transition (or at any time during your life), but here a few of the most common reasons people come to see me:
I am a licensed as a mental health counselor (LMHC) and certified in perinatal mental health (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International. I began working in the mental health field in 2005, after completing my masters in psychological counseling from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. From 2009 until 2011, I took some leave from direct care as a therapist to re-enter graduate school and work towards a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University. My doctoral studies and post-graduate work focus on childbirth, child development, parenting, and the intersectionality of these three. I am also a birth doula and childbirth educator. Over the past decade, I have worked with several local, national, and international birth and human rights advocacy organizations promoting improvement to our maternity care systems. Currently, I am also a faculty member in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University.
At present, there is no university program, which I am aware of (and believe me, I’ve looked) that allows a distinction/specialization/certification in the perinatal period or treatment of mood and anxiety disorders occurring during this time. All of my training and study in this area has been post-grad. In 2018, Postpartum Support International (a non-profit) attempted to meet this need by creating training and certification in perinatal mental health (PMH-C). I completed their training and passed my certification exam in February of 2019.