Perinatal Psychotherapy ServicesCommunity Subscriber
We provide psychotherapy services re: perinatal health including individual, group and couples therapy.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Cant recommend Gina Hassan's 2nd Time Moms/mindful mothering enough. Well facilitated and a good combination of sharing, skill-building/mindfulness experiential stuff, and support. I actually did Support Group for Mothers with my first child and didn't like the facilitator-- nice lady and all but I didn't find it all that insightful. Mindfulness practice, by the way, is very accessible --I wasn't sure if it was my kind of thing before I experienced it. Whatever you choose, I do think a group for 2nd time moms is great b/c it's quite a different thing than the first time around... Best wishes! Another Mama
I can't remember the original posting but Gina Hassan does ''mindful mothering'' groups and she does a 2nd time moms group. I haven't been a 2nd time mom yet but had a great experience in her mindful mothering group. http://www.ginahassan.com/Mothers-Groups.html anon
RE: Postpartum Depression Therapy and Support Groups
First, congratulations on having your little one. I attended a Postpartum Stress support group five years ago facilitated by Lee Safran (510 496-6096) and it was an incredible life saver for me. Like you, I've had a history of depression (and anxiety) and so did most of the other women in the group. It was such a relief to have a place that I could say how I was really feeling - not how I was supposed to be. It was a great group of women and I've stayed in touch with a few.
I can also highly recommend Michael Ratener who sees women with postpartum issues and knows a lot about meds and nursing, if that is important to you. He is at 510 981-0800. Lee Safran helped me get in to see Dr. Ratener ASAP which was helpful as many of the psychiatrists had long wait lists. Since you are overseas, you may want to make contact right away.
I also ended up doing individual therapy with Lee and that was a good combination for me. She really knows her stuff and is both smart and warm. I went back to see her when my son was three and we had some new things to deal with - great experience all around. I did bring my baby with me to individual sessions which was fine with her when he was little. I rarely respond to these posts - how do people find the time? But, I know that I would have had a different experience without that group and it wasn't easy to find at the time. Nicole
I have moderate to severe post-partum depression and anxiety (and still am taking meds and working on getting better 2 years later).
It is difficult to find someone who has experience in this area (including therapists and psychiatrists). I recommend this blog as a good place to start: www.postpartumprogress.com. You can find a list of local therapists to call that can offer specific advice on how to help your friend. Lee Safran in Kensington runs a ''postpartum stress'' support group. That is a good place to start if your friend doesn't believe she has PPD, but is struggling. She can explore issues she's having without automatically labeling her as having PPD and meet other moms who are struggling also. PPD Survivor
You are not alone in dealing with these kinds of feelings and thoughts! I'm glad you're reaching out and looking for help. My best suggestion (I'm a local therapist) is this wonderful, local, small group of therapists called Perinatal Psychotherapy Services. http://www.perinatalpsychotherapy.com/ Donna Rothert, Gina Hassan, and Lee Safran, who make up this group, are all excellent therapists who see mothers in your situation and they also offer groups that support women through such times. You can definitely get help with this!
I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. It is not your fault. Do not blame yourself. It sounds like you are dealing with post-partum OCD/anxiety. I am suffering from post partum anxiety as well, but am now in recovery.
First thing you MUST do, is find a professional who deals with this who can support you. He/she will guide you on how you can deal with your spouse. You can take your kid(s) with you and get support and help.
If you live in the East Bay, Lee Safran is a therapist who deals with PPD and other post partum mood disorders: http://www.leesafran.com/. Call her and if she can't take you/doesn't take your insurance, she will direct you to someone who does or who can do a sliding scale. She also runs a support group.
I meant to respond earlier to your post but didn't get to it (how does everyone find the time to write?) Seeing those 22 responses reminds me how many of us struggle after having a baby.
I had issues very similar to yours after my baby's birth - but not the insight you have to see how irrational and fearful I was. I became very germ phobic and wouldn't go out with my baby, which made me feel insane. I wouldn't let others hold him which also didn't go over well with my family and friends.
A few things helped a lot. I did end up going on Zoloft which I think helped tremendously. I was very resistant to it but after thinking about it a lot in therapy, I decided to try it and I'm so glad that I did. I saw Lee Safran, MFT and she actually gave me an article about how women's brains look more like OCD brains after childbirth which I thought was facinating. I've always had some anxiety/OCDish tendencies like needing all the dishes done before I can go to sleep at night, but it really skyrocketed after my son was born. I liked her smart and non-pathologizing approach.
My husband and I also went to a workshop she presents called From Partners to Parents and it opened up a lot of opportunity for us to get back on track. I don't think he would go to therapy with me, but he was up for that and it gave us some tools to work together instead of against each other.
I so feel for what you are going through and hope you continue to reach out and get the support you need. Anonymous
Hi, I am so very sorry for your loss. I, too, had to end a pregnancy because of a fetal abnormality and it was one of the saddest, loneliest times of my life. I worked with Lee Safran (who is an MFT) and it was profoundly useful for me during that time. Her number is 510 496-6096 and I know she has a website as well. She is very experienced with pregnancy loss and helped me both practically and emotionally.
My husband and I also went once to a group at Alta Bates for couples who had a genetic abnormality. That was helpful too. I can't remember the name of the woman who ran the group, but you could contact them, or ask Lee if you call her.
I am fortunate to have a healthy baby girl now - and wish you well on your journey. Please try to remember that you will get through this experience and take good care of yourself now. In sympathy - from someone who has been there
Dr. Donna Rothert specializes in just this type of thing, and she's great. www.donnarothert.com Good luck - .
Your post reminded me of my own mixed feelings re: postpartum depression versus exhaustion. In the end, I think there is a very fine line between the two. I know that I was in a fog after having my second child and couldn't sort much out. I too, felt more irritable than depressed, but in retrospect learned that this can be a main symptom of postpartum depression.
I met for a while with a therapist, Lee Safran, who was recommended on BPN. She was extremely helpful in terms of gaining some perspective on what was going on for me. She had me fill out an evaluation form which helped me clarify both what was and wasn't ''normal'' for having 2 kids (and a partner who worked long hours.) I would recommend her highly. She can be reached at 496-6096.
Please take good care of yourself. It is really tough work taking care of two little ones. - No longer sleepless...
RE: Post-partum depression therapist?
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with postpartum depression. But, I have a great referral for you. I have worked with Lee Safran after having incredible postpartum anxiety with my second child. She was incredibly helpful to me both in terms of working in the present with my irritability and fear and as well as looking at my past which (in my case) contributed a lot to the upheaval I experienced. I know she also runs groups for postpartum depression. What has been great about working with her, is that I have gone back for check-ins and she remembers me so well that I don't feel like I'm starting over with someone new when I want to focus on a specific issue. She is in Albany and can be reached at 510 496-6096.
Another Mama Whose Been There
The therapists at Perinatal Psychotherapy Services (Donna Rothert, Gina Hassan, and Lee Safran) are wonderful. They deal with pregnancy loss issues all the time. They are in Berkeley, and may be worth the trip, or they may know excellent people in SF. Good luck. You're not alone. http://www.perinatalpsychotherapy.com/
I had a stillbirth 3 years ago this month and have not had children before or since due to fertility issues despite my being under 30. I can recommended a therapist by the name of Donna Rothert. She facilitated a support group on pregnancy loss and also saw patients individually. I saw her in both capacities over the course of 10 months in 2006-07. She has offices in Oakland's Rockridge district and in Walnut Creek though I only saw her in Oakland because I'm on this side of the hills. She is very knowledgeable on infant loss, miscarriage and stillbirth. More than anyone I have ever seen. http://www.donnarothert.com/ Grieving Mama
First, I want to say I am very sorry for your loss. I had a stillbirth 3 years ago this month and have not had children before or since due to fertility issues despite my being under 30. I can recommended a therapist by the name of Donna Rothert. She facilitated a support group on pregnancy loss and also saw patients individually. I saw her in both capacities over the course of 10 months in 2006-07. She has offices in Oakland's Rockridge district and in Walnut Creek though I only saw her in Oakland because I'm on this side of the hills. She is very knowledgeable on infant loss, miscarriage and stillbirth. More than anyone I have ever seen. http://www.donnarothert.com/ Grieving Mama
You should contact Lee Safran http://www.leesafran.com/
I highly recommend you contact Perinatal Psychotherapy Services at 594-4006. You will surely find the help you are seeking with one of the three wonderful practitioners, Gina Hassan, PhD, Donna Rothert, PhD or Lee Safran, MFT. Good luck. portia
RE: Looking for a support group for PPD
Lee Safran, MFT leads postpartum stress groups through Alta Bates and also in her own practice in Kensington. You can reach her at 510-496-6096. I wish you the best in finding what you need anon
Contact Perinatal Psychotherapy Services at (510) 594-4006. There are awesome clinicians, Gina Hassan,PhD, Donna Rothert, PhD and Lee Safran, MFT, who specialize in issues surrounding pregnancy and post-partum. You'll certainly find great suppport there. portia
I've had a very good experience with Lee Safran, a therapist who specializes in all things related to pregnancy and kids. She is knowledgeable and kind and that worked well for me. She has an office in Kensington. http://www.leesafran.com/ Good luck and I highly recommend getting some help during your pregnancy - it'd be a smart move anon
I would HIGHLY recommend Gina Hassan, Donna Rothert & Lee Safran, who work together at a practice called Perinatal Psychotherapy Services. www.perinatalpsychotherapy.com 594-4006 info [at] perinatalpsychotherapy.com Best of luck to you for the remainder of your pregnancy. I hope you find the support you need
Gina Hassan is a psychologist in Berkeley who specializes in infertility and pregnancy issues. She's smart, warm and has a lot of experience in working with people through this experience. She's located on Shattuck near Cafe de la Paz. Good luck anon
RE: Depression groups for postpartum depression
I struggled with truly horrendous postpartum depression after my son (second child - I didn't have the same reaction with my first.) I worked with Lee Safran individually for about a year and saw her a few times with my husband. She is a marriage and family therapist with an office on Solano and I know that she now runs a Postpartum Depression group. Her number is 510 496- 6096. It was such a lonely time for me and I really felt like she got what I was going through as well as encouraged me gently to make some needed changes in how I was coping and relating to others. I definitely recommend her. I wish you all the best and please do get some support, it really helped me. Also, I think Kaiser might have a group as well. Good luck. anonymous
RE: Prolonged post-partum depression
I also have struggled with a prolonged postpartum depression. For me, a lot of old stuff came to the forground after having my second child and I was pretty imobilized. I have been working with Lee Safran, who has a practice on Solano and specializes in both depression and postpartum issues. She has been a lifesaver for me offering practical ideas as well as wise insight into some truly unresolved issues. She also runs a postpartum stress group which I can't attend (scheduling) but I imagine it's quite helpful. Her number is 510 496-6096. All my best to you and my encouragement in taking care of yourself - it makes all the difference. anon
RE: Marriage problems after new baby
I have an excellent recommendation for help with adjusting to the many changes of becoming new parents, particularly the stresses placed on the marriage, (including familiarity with different cultures): Donna Rothert, Ph.D. She has offices in both Albany and Oakland. Her number is 510-273-9548. Pamela