Postpartum Depression Therapy Chicago

Postpartum Depression Therapy Chicago

Post Partum Depression Therapy Chicago

Postpartum Depression therapy is increasingly being sought out as perinatal mental health has become more of a growing concern. This is because doctors are now paying more attention to the importance of the mental health of a new mother. Perinatal specifically refers to the time of pregnancy and postpartum, a period of time in which a person is extremely susceptible to changes in mental health which are exacerbated by changes in hormones, lifestyle and support structures.

Do you need Postpartum Depression therapy?

Approximately 15% of birthing parents experience depression after giving birth. Postpartum is an extremely vulnerable time biologically, which is what is believed to contribute to the susceptibility of developing postpartum depression. Symptoms vary, but can include sleep and appetite disturbance, difficulty getting out of bed, increased tearfulness, emotional numbness, sadness, lack of interest, isolation, lack of connection with the baby and intrusive thoughts about harming the baby. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and it has been more than 2 weeks since giving birth, then you will likely benefit from an assessment with a postpartum depression therapist. They will be able to help provide you with a diagnosis and work on a postpartum depression therapy treatment plan with you. A medication referral to a perinatal psychiatrist might also be indicated.

Come see one of our Postpartum Depression therapists us at our Chicago counseling office which is conveniently located on Michigan Avenue near Millenium Park. There are many nearby parking options and we are a few blocks walk from the state/lake CTA red line stop.

If the office is not close to you, we can easily see you via online therapy as we do for many clients in Illinois.

What other Mental health concerns show up after giving birth?

Postpartum Anxiety (PPA)

Approximately 10% of birthing parents develop postpartum anxiety. Symptoms vary and can commonly include excessive worry, inability to rest or sleep while the baby is sleeping, irritability, panic attacks, paranoia, difficulty concentrating, intrusive thoughts about harming the baby, nausea, low appetite, and restlessness. 

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (POCD)

An estimated 3-5% of birthing parents develop symptoms of OCD. Symptoms include obsessions or intrusive thoughts, compulsions, a strong sense of fear or horror about the obsessions, fear of being alone with the baby, and a hyper fixation on protecting the baby. Intrusive thoughts are classified as persistent, reoccurring thoughts relating to the safety of the baby. These thoughts are often clear mental images that come into the mind suddenly and without cause. Compulsions are mental or physical actions taken in hopes of reducing the fear of intrusive thoughts. Persistent checking behaviors, counting and cleaning are some common examples of compulsions in the postpartum period. 

Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Approximately 9% of birthing parents experience PTSD after giving birth and this is caused by experiencing a trauma during pregnancy or childbirth. If the baby or birthing parent experience any medical complications or if the baby needs medical support or to spend time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) the likelihood is high that symptoms of PTSD could arise. Additionally, if the birthing parent has previous trauma that is exacerbated by childbirth or feels disrespected or unvalued during childbirth their risk of developing PTSD symptoms also increases. Symptoms include flashbacks or re-experiencing the traumatic event, nightmares, avoidance of anything related to the event or reminders of the event (the hospital, doctors, smells, certain foods), and persistent arousal or feeling on edge which often leads to difficulty sleeping and a heightened startle response.

Postpartum Depression Risk Factors and Experience

For all of the disorders listed above, additional risk factors increase the likelihood for a person to develop symptoms. Some risk factors include low socioeconomic status, history of mental health concerns, teen pregnancy, race, and sexual orientation. If a person has one or more of these risk factors and becomes pregnant, it is critical that they are screened regularly and seen by a mental health professional. 

It is important to note that PMADs (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders), impact both the birthing parent as well as the other partner(s). They may experience their own mental health disorder which can impact functioning and complicate the parenting dynamic. Additionally, they are often a primary caregiver for the birthing partner who is diagnosed with a PMAD and needs care right alongside of the baby.

PMADs are labeled as “postpartum” in their title but can occur during pregnancy as well. Some people find that pregnancy is where the symptoms are heightened and once the baby is born their mood regulates and stabilizes. Others find that symptoms begin in pregnancy and carry through into the postpartum period. And finally, it’s possible for no symptoms to be present during pregnancy and then they emerge during the postpartum period. All presentations of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are valid and deserving of treatment. 

Postpartum Therapy & Medication as Forms of Treatment

Therapy, medication, support groups and lifestyle changes are the primary modes of treatment for PMADs. With one or more of these interventions, these disorders are treatable. The key is early detection and connection to resources. Getting connected to a therapist while pregnant will provide the connection and support needed during that time and will also provide an opportunity to be screened for PMADs by a trained professional. If symptoms of a PMAD are present, the therapist will then be the point person for treatment and will refer to a psychiatrist and support groups, as well as making recommendations for lifestyle changes and encouraging increased social support. 

It’s important to note that the type and amount of treatment should match the person’s preferences and the severity of symptoms. For example, if a person is experiencing severe symptoms, a combination of the treatment options listed above would likely be most appropriate. Therapy frequency as well as medication type and dose can all be adjusted to best meet the needs of the individual. 



Cityscape Counseling has several therapists who are trained in the treatment of Postpartum Depression, other PMADs and all topics surrounding fertility, pregnancy loss and parenting challenges as well. Finding a therapist with the appropriate training is a critical first step as they will offer the most direct support that is curated to the needs of the individual. 

Postpartum Support International (PSI)

PSI has a comprehensive website that assists in finding free support groups, information, mentorship, and therapy. PSI also has a helpline (1-800-944-4773) that is operated by trained volunteers to provide information, resources, and support. 

National Crisis Text Line

When in crisis text HOME to 741741 and a trained volunteer will respond.

If you are experiencing severe mental health symptoms and/or are unable to keep yourself safe, please go to the nearest emergency room or one of the crisis centers listed below:

Emergency Rooms and Crisis Walk in Centers

Welcoming Center – Lutheran Social Services (Chicago)

Thresholds Living Room (Chicago)

Josselyn Center Living Room (Northfield)

Turning Point Living Room (Skokie)

Community Triage Center (Chicago)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Call 988 for yourself or someone you care about to receive free support and resources.

Postpartum Depression Therapists in Chicago

if you’re looking for a postpartum Depression therapist in Chicago, cityscape counseling would love to work with you.