I recently had an article published on GoodTherapy.org about how your personality style can put you at risk for Postpartum Depression. Check it out on GoodTherapy.org.
The Importance of Taking as Good Care of Yourself as You Do Your Baby
By Meri Levy, MFT
This is a topic that I cover regularly in my new parent support groups, because it is so important to remember as a new mom or dad. It is easy to feel that the needs of your new baby, and even your partner, outweigh your responsibility to take good care of yourself. But this is a dangerous trap, because you are only as good a parent as you are nurtured as a human being.
This is not meant to be a guilt trip about getting your nails done or taking time to work out. The whole idea of nurturing yourself is about minimizing the avoidable “shoulds.” You don’t want anything about your own self-care to feel like an obligation. Pick ways to take care of yourself that you look forward to, and that fill your cup. It could be as simple as a long, hot shower with the music turned up high (while someone you trust minds the baby). Or taking an hour at Starbucks to read the paper over coffee while your partner has some baby bonding time.
Each of us as parents needs to listen to the voice inside of ourself that tells us when we’ve reached our limit. Parenting with heart requires living with heart, which is only possible if you feed your own spirit and body, and set appropriate boundaries to prevent building up resentment.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Coach-Parenting™ Certified Coach. I offer individual and couples therapy, as well as parenting support and coaching to a wide range of individuals and families. I see clients at my office in Lafayette, California, which is in the San Francisco East Bay Area. I also lead a postpartum support group called the Postpartum Emotional Recovery Circle.
My early career was in the field of public policy until after the birth of my first two children. Then I founded a business supporting new parents and families for eight years before beginning my training as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I am a Certified Lactation Educator, and have years of experience leading new parent support groups and helping new parents with feeding, sleep, infant care and the sometimes challenging transition to parenthood. I am now the mother of three children, ages 11, 14 and 17, a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety, and I have parented a spirited child who has grown into a wonderful young man, so I’ve been there!
I earned my B.A. from Tufts University, a M.A. in Economics from New Mexico State University, and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. I am a member of the California Psychological Association as well as the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, East Bay Chapter. In addition, I am a member of Postpartum Support International, Mt. Diablo Perinatal Psychotherapy Associates and the Mt. Diablo Family Resource Network. I am a Topic Expert on Postpartum Depression on www.GoodTherapy.org.
In addition to psychotherapy services and support groups, I offer training regarding the prevention, identification and treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and am available as a speaker on topics relating to maternal mental health.
* Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist MFC #82213.