Chrissy Teigen recently made headlines when she revealed her once private battle with postpartum depression in an essay for Glamour Magazine. This essay challenged the stigma and shame that often surrounds the subject of mental health, pregnancy and childbirth, inspiring many women to come forward and to share their own struggles and stories. Chrissy’s story is the story of many women who feel blindsided by their internal emotional battle surrounding what it is anticipated to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, childbirth.
According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of nine women experience postpartum depression. Though the relationship between depression and the postpartum period has long been documented, many woman are unaware of postpartum depression symptoms. Additionally, many couples are unsure of how to mitigate maternal postpartum depression.
So you may be wondering, what exactly is postpartum depression? Postpartum depression is characterized by sadness, loss of interest, appetite disturbance and sleep deficit beyond that required for the care of baby. Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression symptoms can include excessive concern for one’s baby, constant fatigue and anxiety or irritability beginning within four weeks after delivery (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Traditionally, postpartum depression prevention and treatment identifies woman as the patient. However, one of the most identified risk and mitigating factors for postpartum depression is romantic relationship quality. In short, we need to begin to broaden the conversation about postpartum depression to include couples. So how can you and your partner cultivate connection in the midst of postpartum depression?
Learn more as a couple
Just because a mother is the one experiencing postpartum depression, does not mean she should be the only one reading and learning about her struggle. As a couple, carve out time to read about postpartum depression and have conversations about articles or books you have read. Some great articles can be found here and here.
Cultivate a safe space
For mothers battling postpartum depression, it is so important to have a safe space where they can describe their internal experiences free from judgement. Schedule regular uninterrupted times where you as a couple discuss one another’s experiences and struggles. Though you may not be able to identify with each other’s experiences, you can still validate each other’s story. Couple’s therapy can be ideal for cultivating this kind of safety.
Join a support group
Many women believe the postpartum depression is a battle that can or must be faced alone. This is not true! There are many support groups for mothers as well as for partners affected by postpartum depression. A listing of postpartum depression support groups can be found here and here.
Finally, if you or a loved one is experiencing or believed to be at risk for postpartum depression, know that help is available. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.
Written by, Ruth Jackson, Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy
It’s that time of year again when temperatures rise and everything is in bloom. For many, it marks the beginning of seasonal allergies. The usual response to this is prescription or over the counter medications, or in severe cases, allergy shots. These treatments are great at stopping the symptoms of allergies: runny nose, red and itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion. However, they need to be taken regularly and are often not completely effective. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a third option for treating allergies that can be effective on its own or in conjunction with medications. Additionally, it can help reduce the need for those medications as treatment continues.
Allergy symptoms are the result of an immediate hypersensitive reaction to allergens such as pollen. Medications work by reducing the severity of this reaction, essentially covering up the symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can work to help the body self-regulate and thus have a more normal response to all types of allergens, not just pollen. What this means for you is less severe allergy symptoms less frequently. And in some cases, no symptoms at all. It’s even possible to start treatment prior to allergy season in order to prevent symptoms before they even start.
This is not an overnight fix, you should expect about two months of weekly treatments for the full effect, and some patients may need to come in a few times throughout the year for a ‘tune up’. In many cases, dietary changes will also help greatly. Cutting out dairy, sugar, and gluten will help reduce the body’s response to allergens and also increase its response to treatment. This can lead to better and longer lasting results.
If you’re worried about the coming allergy season, or if you suffer from year-round symptoms, acupuncture can be a great alternative or complement to regular medical treatments. It can lead to longer and better results and improve your body’s overall function. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Justin Short is a licensed acupuncturist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a nationally certified Chinese herbalist who works at our Stone Ridge office. Justin believes in a holistic approach to health and in helping people help themselves.
Who invented Valentine’s Day? Some secret corporate conglomerate trying to make money off people by selling more chocolate and flowers? Well, a quick google search results in some fascinating history about Valentine’s Day that might be worth a read if you are bored.The challenge that many couples face is that whether they do or don’t make the effort, it might cause tension either way. Here are some thoughts to consider to avoid making Valentine’s Day so perilous.
Relaxing and inviting office space at the Wellness Connection, LeesburgOn November 9,
On November 9, 2016 we celebrated The Wellness Connection, Leesburg office Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. It was a well-attended, great event. People from all walks of life joined us in this moment of celebration.
As I reflect back on this event I can’t help but feel amazed and blessed to have been part of this new phase for The Wellness Connection. At the beginning of 2016, I started to explore where my career path would take me in the next few years. I wasn’t looking to make a change, but I was curious to find what I wanted my path to look like. A conversation with someone about the TWC expansion to Leesburg peaked my interest in joining the team. The more I learned about TWC, the more it felt like the perfect fit. In June, I joined the team with the goal of leading the Leesburg office as Associate Clinical Director.
The Wellness Connection was announced as Loudoun County’s Small Business Winner for 2016!
Thank you Loudoun County for awarding the Wellness Connection as the Small Business Winner for 2016 at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce awards held on November 4, 2016! (See more here and here.)
We are both honored and humbled to win and will continue to move forward to serve our local community as we open our third location in Leesburg.