Please share your professional experience. I graduated from college about 30 years ago. The beginning of my career I focused on children with learning disorders.
I later transitioned into market research working with clients in Argentina and Latin America. After some time, I started feeling I wasn’t liking it and wanted something more connected to humans and making a difference so I did some internal search work and came back to clinical work. I set up my office and my first client was online so COVID thankfully didn’t surprise me. I am interested in specializing in palliative care. I am very interested in death and everything around the care before death.
How long has Carolina been your patient? For almost one year now. I started seeing her when Emma was about 2 weeks old on August 31st, 2020.
What is her diagnosis? I am not a fan of sharing my diagnosis with my patients. There is a lot of stigma around mental health diagnosis and I don’t want my patients to identify with their diagnosis. I use it more so as an internal guide for me and the therapy path. In our field, we refer to these as seasons/episodes that the patient will pass through. Carolina clearly was passing through a time of postpartum depression and anxiety and that is what we are working on. And the whole context of her situation was atypical with a global pandemic going on. Each child awakens different feelings and Carolina was going through a very unique scenario dealing with maternity with COVID going on. A global pandemic influenced her feelings of being scared of sickness and death. All of this impacted her feelings of anxiety. She was feeling very alone and isolated.
What types of clients do you see? I am open to working with all types of clients except for psychopaths and people with eating disorders. I am not specialized in the latter and prefer not working with the former. It’s a personal choice and a challenge I prefer not to deal with.
What is your experience with postpartum? I cannot say it’s my specialty. It’s a vital crisis situation and is a transition period for all mothers. It is a time in life where a child brings a lot of different needs to the table and it is a forced transition, not an optional one and one that comes with many additional responsibilities and pressures. You can prepare all you want but nothing will make you ready for it. You will act as best as you can. I like accompanying the Mom through this transition to find the connection with themselves while finding the resources she has to best deal with maternity. Resources can include their own mother, their relationship, friends or other resources. I also often work with the feelings of guilt that are ever present for mothers as well as the tiredness and exhaustion feelings, which are normal.
How and when should mothers reach out for help? As soon as she feels disconnected from herself or whenever there is anxiety that one feels they can’t deal with on their own. It is better to seek for help sooner than later.
Who do you recommend they reach out to? The professionals who they feel a closer relationship with. For most women, that would be their OBGYN that accompanied their pregnancy, or the child’s pediatrician, or some people may have a psychotherapist as a contact.
What resources do you recommend? Every city should have free numbers or hospital options to recur to. I am in Buenos Aires and here there are free hospitals.
Anything else you would like to share? For the soon-to-be moms I recommend seeking for meditation, yoga, or other practices that help connect with yourself beyond the courses and books out there.
Carolina is still Carolina that has lived in many countries, speaks many languages and has had different adventures and stories. Children don’t change Carolina into just a mother. Carolina has many different hats beyond motherhood. Maternity gives one more expression of self and is not the only sense of self. Having a child does not fulfill a woman. It is a very important role in life but is not the only one. It is very demanding especially when they are as young as Carolina’s both children but you have to continue finding and connecting with yourself. Maternity is a tsunami… of diapers, milk and crying. It is also a tsunami of happiness. To be able to have support from your husband, mother or therapist is a relief.