Home > Services & Programs > Employee Assistance Program > What is Perinatal Counseling?
Expecting a child is usually a time filled with joy and excitement, but so many new changes can also lead to feelings of isolation and stress. In fact, one in seven women is diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder during pregnancy or birth, and one in 10 men experiences symptoms of depression.
Many are aware of the emotional effects that can occur after giving birth. Often termed the “baby blues,” it effects up to 80% of new moms. Symptoms include crying and feeling overwhelmed with motherhood, as well as being uncertain. However, baby blues lasts no more than two weeks after birth. If these symptoms are persistent during pregnancy, or more than two weeks after giving birth, it may be perinatal depression or anxiety. Perinatal refers to the time during pregnancy and the one year that follows birth.
Some signs to look for include:
Aubrey Hepker, LMHC, CADC, offers perinatal counseling and works with new parents who are coping with the adjustment of having a baby. During counseling sessions, Hepker works with clients to help cope with their anxiety and irrational thoughts, discuss the healthiness of relationships and support systems, and work through irritability that can come from hormonal changes.
Perinatal counseling is available through Mercy Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Mercy Family Counseling. Special time slots are held for these appointments, so clients facing these issues can get in sooner to get the help they need. If you or someone you know could benefit from perinatal counseling, please contact Mercy EAP or Mercy Family Counseling.