Perinatal mental health disorders are the number 1 complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

1 in 5 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or first postnatal year (Maternal Mental Health Alliance)

Hello there, new mama. Entering motherhood is often associated with balloons, baby showers, joy, and never ending bliss. But if you’re feeling more overwhelmed than overjoyed, you’re not alone.

Many new mothers find themselves navigating a range of emotions that simply aren’t talked about enough—the perinatal mental health challenges that can surface during your pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.

Let’s talk about it.

Understanding Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal mental health refers to your emotional and psychological well-being during one of the most transformative experiences in your lifetime. It’s completely normal to feel a rollercoaster of emotions, but when feelings of anxiety or sadness become intense or persistent, they might signal something more significant than just the baby blues. These moments can feel incredibly isolating and frightening.

The contrast between societal expectations of joy and the reality of your emotional experience can exacerbate these feelings, making you feel as though you’re failing at a time when you believe you should be most happy. This dissonance is what makes perinatal mental health challenges particularly daunting and why addressing them openly and compassionately is so critical.

If you come away from this blog post with nothing else, just remember: You are not failing, and it’s definitely not your fault.

Pay attention to the symptoms

There are a wide range of symptoms, and yours might be entirely different from what another mom experiences. Some of the most common things to watch out for are:

  • You might feel persistently sad or worry excessively, often about your baby’s well-being, potential complications, or even your capabilities as a mom.
  • Physical shifts: Changes in your appetite or sleep patterns, or feeling unusually tired all the time.
  • Mental fog: Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions.
  • Behavioral changes: Pulling away from loved ones or losing interest in things you used to enjoy.
  • Strains in relationships: Feeling disconnected or easily annoyed with your partner or even your baby.
Why It’s Scary—and Why It’s Okay to Say It

It’s okay to admit that this is hard. It’s scary because it’s not what you expected, and it challenges the very image of what you thought pregnancy and motherhood would look like. The contrast between your expectations and your reality can make you feel like you’re getting it all wrong. But here’s the truth: dealing with perinatal mental health challenges doesn’t make you a bad mother; it makes you human.

So what can you do about it?

At the times you feel the most isolated, it’s hard to figure out where to go. Here are a few starting points:

  • Let’s Talk About It: Reach out to a dedicated perinatal mental health counselor for a conversation. Just talking about what you’re experiencing can be a powerful first step.
  • Find Your Crew: Join support groups with other new or expecting moms who are in the same boat. There’s incredible healing in shared experiences.
  • Learn New Strategies: Participate in workshops that equip you with practical tools to manage stress, anxiety, and sadness.

Joining support groups or sharing your experiences can be incredibly therapeutic. Connecting with others facing similar challenges (or have faced similar challenges in the past) can alleviate feelings of isolation and provide reassurance.

Take the first step

You might feel stuck right now, but here’s a little nudge—reach out. Talking to someone who understands can make a world of difference. At Cornerstone Christian Counseling, we’re here to walk this path with you. You don’t have to feel this way, and with the right support, things really can get better.


Research shows that much of the change people experience during their time in therapy is because they felt heard and understood by their therapist–that their therapist “got them” and that the guidance they gave was relevant and applicable.  Because of this, it is critical that you find a therapist whom you can connect with, whom you feel comfortable with, whom you feel “gets you.” Therefore, we encourage you to take a few minutes to read a little about each one of our therapists. If you prefer to look at the counselors nearest to you, please click the office location buttons below. Otherwise, you can meet with any of our Christian Counselors online from the comfort of your own home. If you have questions about any of them, please contact us!