5 Reasons Why New Parents Benefit From Therapy
Are you a new parent? Life has really changed, hasn’t it? Becoming a parent is a rite of passage that we are not meant to explore alone! If you are in need of a little extra help, here are 5 reasons why seeking a professional therapist can be helpful for new parents:
- The roles and expectations with your partner will Therapy can help you grow into your new identity with less stress.
You can read all the books, and take all the classes, but nothing can prepare you for the all-consuming fog that settles in your mind and body when you are sleep deprived and recovering from birth. It is common for parents to both feel excitement towards the new love that has entered their life, and also feel some grief towards how their relationship has changed. Gone are the days of spontaneity and taking time for yourselves. Now every action requires careful planning and preparation around the baby’s needs. And babies have needs to be met 24/7!
You DO find a routine with time, and you DO eventually adapt to functioning with less sleep. However, in those early months, it can be easy to feel like you are drowning as you both adapt to new roles. The couples that make it for the long-run, can maintain open communication and acceptance as they share their struggles. Couples who eventually adapt but who have built up resentments towards each other in those early postpartum months, may carry those resentments for years.
Therapists are here to help nurture the parents in their relationship, while the parents nurture the baby. It can be scary to go to couples’ therapy, but if you are both in it to understand each other rather than play the blame game, then it can be a beautiful transition towards your “new normal”.
- Unresolved issues from your childhood can negatively impact your experience as a
Let’s set the record straight. We ALL have had issues here and there. Many times, as these issues resolve, we become more resilient. However, in cases of past childhood abuse or neglect, these traumas can run deep. They can create unrealistic fears and shape how we view the world. Unfortunately, these deep personal traumas can also impact how we view our relationship with our children, how we react to their unique personalities, and how fearful we may be of letting them become independent. Tension can arise in a marriage when partners feel that their parenting values and styles are completely different.
Having a therapist to help you cooperate and find a healthy middle ground, can work wonders for a marriage that needs help communicating their thoughts and feelings. Similarly, individual therapy can provide healing for addressing your own past and for learning how to be present for your children as they grow. There is no worse feeling than looking back 20 years from now and realizing you missed out on precious moments due to being wrapped up in your own thoughts and feelings.
- Intimacy changes after Sometimes intimacy can become deeper and richer. Sometimes intimacy can remain stagnant and get lost in the routine.
In many cases, after recovering from birth, women feel even more in tune with their bodies, and more secure in their ability to be emotionally and physically intimate. However, there are also many women who experience birth trauma or who may feel insecure in how their body looks and feels post-baby. Sometimes medical issues that remain after delivery can continue to postpone the exploration of sexuality after having a baby.
Emotional intimacy, which is just as important, can easily fall to the backburner when parents are sleep-deprived and running on empty. It is hard to find time for playfulness and flirtation when a new parent is now inundated with constant task lists, medical appointments, diapers, feeding, and catching up on precious minutes of sleep.
Although this adjustment naturally takes time, having a baby does NOT mean you are destined to feel bored and stagnant in your marriage. Therapy can help you re-kindle flirtation, foreplay, and appreciation in your marriage. It is important to keep an open mind though, about how life is now different. The way in which intimacy will grow will now be very different from how it was before having a baby, but it will also reach new, visceral depths you may not have tapped into before.
- It truly takes a village to raise a And a therapist can be a part of that village.
Having support is crucial to maintaining your emotional stability, as well as a sense of security when you become a parent. When you don’t have a natural support system near you, you may need to outsource the support by hiring people who can care for you and the baby. A therapist also makes up part of that support system. Sometimes, we need to not only have a space for ourselves, but also a place to discuss the things that others may not understand. Attending sessions may help you process and make sense of the complex thoughts and feelings you are experiencing.
In many cultures, there are customs revolving around the postpartum period that allow parents to ease into their roles gradually. However, in countries like the U.S., the support system may be more spread out and at a further distance, therefore making postpartum changes much more impactful for a couple. If you fall into the category of having minimal support, then a therapist could be ideal for your transition into parenthood.
- Sometimes life throws you curveballs, and that is Therapists are available to help make the best of what life has to offer.
Sometimes there are lingering medical issues that happen after a difficult birth. Sometimes, our children are introduced into the world while needing complex medical care. Sometimes, despite all the best efforts, a marriage experiences a separation or divorce. There are so many unexpected issues that can arise during pregnancy and after birth. We cannot control what occurs in life, but we can certainly learn to navigate these issues.
It is hard to navigate, though, when we feel that we are in crisis mode. Having a therapist to aid parents through these crises is like shining a light in the darkness. Therapy can help forge a path that we may not have found had we remained closed off to other perspectives. We all need the extra help sometimes, and reaching out for support is a brave action towards a better future!
Although therapy is an amazing tool to add to your support system as a new parent, we are aware that there may be questions about how to start. Feel free to call 561-571-1557 for more information regarding finances, scheduling, and finding the right fit. Our team of dedicated therapists is always happy to help.