A Therapist’s Guide for Parents to Reduce Risk of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

Mother copes with postpartum depression

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According to Postpartum Support International, one in five to seven moms and one in ten dads will suffer from a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder. The postpartum period is traditionally considered to be up to the first year after childbirth. Within that period, a person who experiences postpartum depression could feel sadness, guilt, anger, irritability, hopelessness, a lack of interest in the baby, or encounter changes in eating or sleeping habits. Postpartum anxiety could generate feelings of extreme worry and fear, often in regard to the safety or health of the baby, as well as physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, trouble concentrating, or feeling out of control. In more extreme cases, there can be thoughts of self harm or of harming the baby. It’s important to note that any of these symptoms can begin in pregnancy and continue into the postpartum period, or develop several months into parenthood.

As a clinical therapist, I have the honor and privilege of hearing and supporting parents on their journey through pregnancy, into parenthood and beyond. Throughout my training and certifications as a life and health coach, doula, and nutrition consultant, I have seen and heard the myriad factors that can support a parent’s wellbeing.

Over the past 10+ years, I’ve worked to create safe spaces and methodologies that both educate and nurture the nurturers of our society. One that is most essential is my specialized attunement framework which helps parents reduce the risk of developing depression or anxiety in postpartum.

There are a number of symptoms and indicators that parents can look out for in both themselves and each other in order to reduce the risk of depression or anxiety in pregnancy as well as after childbirth. Such indicators include:

  • a lack of presence
  • a sense of disconnection from oneself and others, or
  • generally feeling unlike yourself

Upon recognizing any of these symptoms, leveraging my Attune-Up Process can help you return to a better sense of self. Here are the key points to tune in and tune up.


Awareness is the most essential component to ensuring peace. Most people think they’re aware, but true awareness is much deeper than the surface-level attention we tend to have throughout our day-to-day lives. Awareness is the ability to identify a connection between your body and mind and to tune into the signals that are present. Most of the women and parents I’ve supported over my career don’t yet have this level of awareness of themselves, their bodies, their emotions, and more. Cultivating this sense of awareness is essential in developing the connection and trust with yourself that can help avoid the onset or intensity of mood or anxiety issues. 


To acknowledge that there’s a challenge, struggle, or the potential of profound impact from a life transition like having a baby can be incredibly empowering. It takes incredible strength and courage to share that you have fears, worries, doubts, or negative thoughts. Vulnerability is scary, but acknowledging that vulnerability is paramount to ensuring that we create the opportunity for others to support us at this critical time of transition.


Acceptance does not mean the relinquishment of control. It doesn’t mean you have to be happy about your circumstances and succumb to their difficulties; you only need to accept the feelings you have about the situation. Acceptance is an empowered choice that frees you to shed your fears and act in your own self interest. Together we will validate your experience and give you the power to shift and heal. 


Assurance is the final piece of the Attune-Up. Assurance relates to a knowing that you can get through challenges with ease and grace. When you have assurance that you either have or can obtain the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing support you need during this time of transition, you are less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. Instead, the assurance offers you an increased sense of confidence and resourcefulness essential to maintaining wellbeing and nurturing oneself, one’s child, and growing family. 

Nurturing nurturers is my passion and I strongly believe that parents are our frontline nurturers. Giving moms and dads a space to put themselves first helps them to be more present when facing the challenges that arise. Parenting is hard, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Through attunement, we practice and model emotional regulation which is an essential skill humans are tasked with mastering. If you are emotionally regulated, you won’t react when it gets hard. You’ll be able to be the steady force that guides your little one through their own storm. 

I’ve developed a 4th Trimester Planning Session for parents who want to take a proactive approach to bringing a baby home. During this 2-hour session, I help parents talk about the hard things, set up resources and care, and explore their preferences for how they’d like to be supported during this pivotal time. Let’s chat and make a plan together so you can feel confident in knowing you got this! Alternatively, if you are pregnant or are into your postpartum and you are concerned about the onset of depression or anxiety, I welcome you to book a time to connect with me to explore how we can work together to reduce your risks and support the maintenance of your mental health and wellness.

Lauren M.

Lauren M.

I am a trained full-spectrum doula, with a passion for taking care of birthers and families.