Adjusting to motherhood
In preparation for motherhood, your friends and family may have given you a beautiful baby shower, a special celebration equipping you for the new addition to your family. You may have a home filled with ever beautiful item and every gadget to help soothe and care for your baby. You spent the weeks before the baby’s arrival preparing your home and daydreaming about what motherhood would be like.
And then the baby arrived.
Why didn’t anyone tell you how hard this would be? “Or maybe it just wasn’t this hard for everyone else and I’m doing something wrong,” you may have thought on more than one occasion.
Maybe you’re exhausted. Maybe you’re irritable. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you showered.
Maybe it’s more than that.
While many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. It can be hard for many mothers to tell what’s “normal” or to be expected regarding how they feel after the birth of a child. If you are uncertain, a free 15 minute phone consultation might help you decide if counseling can support you during this time. And by the way, babies are always welcome in session.
I WORK WITH WOMEN WHO ARE:
feeling overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood
feeling lonely, even though you are never by yourself
needing more support from her partner, but not getting it
slow to bond and connect with the baby
making decisions about when, how and whether to return to work
feeling uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the baby with anyone else (even your partner)
having a hard time expressing your needs and asking (or receiving) help from others
experiencing uncomfortable and unpredictable mood swings
worrying about your sex life or other aspects of intimacy
missing “who you used to be”
wanting individualized support for your unique situation
Think about how long you went to school for your career. How much training and mentorship did you receive to learn how to do your job? Was it hard? Were you always successful? Motherhood is probably one of the most demanding roles you’ll experience, with basically no training. If you’re having a hard time finding your stride in motherhood, the supportive relationship counseling provides can help you integrate motherhood into your life.
Jaime Malone, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor
Certified in Perinatal Mental Health by Postpartum Support International
For so long you looked forward to being a mother. But you had no idea how intense it would be. You had no idea by adding something so precious to your life, you’d feel like you were simultaneously loosing so much. Maybe somedays this means loosing sleep or time for activities you enjoyed. Other days it might feel like your sanity is at risk of being lost.
I can help you in your unique needs, challenges, and goals of this stage of life. Whether it’s exploring adverse childhood experiences motherhood has brought to the surface for you, or learning how to calm your mind and body, we will work collaboratively to determine what counseling can provide you.
I have spent my professional career in Maternal and Child Health, with a foundation in Public Health as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. Here is where I first understood “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” has true health implications. When we care for the health of a mom, we promote the health of an entire family. In counseling, many women share with me they are concerned they are being “selfish” when they do something that takes care of themselves. Do you feel guilty if you prioritize exercising, spending time with friends, or returning to work? If so, I invite you to think about how being self-aware sustains you for the marathon of motherhood!
My Masters in Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University equipped me with skills to help promote meaningful change in your life. People sometimes ask with curiosity, “how does talking about things help?” Counseling is a supportive relationship where I come to understand things from your perspective, and then gently challenge you to consider new ways of thinking (which in turn transforms your feelings) and relating. As I like to say, “insight is good, but insight with action is better.” So the magic of counseling is what you do differently in between our sessions, that’s where the transformation occurs.
The past seventeen years I have been so very fortunate to provide counseling services to children, mothers and families either adjusting to major life events or trying to create change in their lives to improve mood and relationships.
Oh, and I’m a mom, too. I share that because we all have unique experiences of motherhood: what aggravates us and what energizes us, what our hopes and worries are, what our strengths are and our prioritizes. However, we can all connect in motherhood because we all have these things, even if they are different. Counseling isn’t about advice from my personal experiences, but rather helping you develop the tools you need for your journey through motherhood.