Postpartum anxiety | WesternSlopeNow.com
Produced by Dan Ryan for St Mary’s Medical Center
After the birth of her second child, Darlene Behrman found herself struggling with what is commonly known as the postpartum blues. “After I had my baby, I felt overwhelmed,” she says. “I felt like I was out of control of my emotions and it was starting to affect my family. I knew I needed help.
Darlene found the help she was looking for in Leslie Gibson, a certified nurse midwife at the OB / GYN clinic in St. Mary’s. “I needed someone who was confident and knowledgeable, but easy to talk to,” Darlene says. “I made that connection with Leslie. She made me feel comfortable and comfortable talking about what I was going through. I didn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.
“It’s important that women feel they can speak out,” Leslie says. “Most new moms have some postpartum anxiety. It’s hard to be a mother. We kind of grab your baby and hand you this little package and say, “you got it,” and that’s just not the way it is. New mothers need a support system that goes beyond labor and delivery, and as a provider of my five children, this has always been close to my heart.
“I think a lot of women are afraid to reach out,” Darlene adds. “They just had a baby and think everything should be fine and when it isn’t, they hesitate to speak up. It is important to empower women to know that it is okay to ask for help.
As a certified nurse midwife and family nurse practitioner, Leslie is uniquely trained to care for women throughout their lives. “People generally believe that midwives are only there for pregnancy and childbirth, but we provide a full range of health care for women from the start of their period to menopause and beyond. From postpartum care to hormonal management, reproductive health and mental health, everything related to women’s health is our area of expertise.
Darlene says that when she came to see Leslie, her expectations had to be heard and taken into account on a personal level. “It was really about building a relationship where we could work together to address my concerns. Leslie allowed me to be part of the plan, giving me options and allowing me to choose my path of treatment. Together we have found the right path. Now that I’ve seen Leslie, I have more energy and a healthier outlook on being a mom. She made such a big difference.
Leslie says being a mom can naturally be overwhelming for women. “There is a lot of pressure. And it’s not just the emotional side of things, it’s also physical. Your body changes, your hormones change. It’s a gigantic change to grow a little human in your body for nine months now to have him in your arms. A lot of new moms just need a little help making this transition, and that’s what we’re here for. It’s our passion.
“Leslie has made me feel like a better mother and a better wife,” concludes Darlene. “My relationship with my family is better, my emotions are under control and I am enjoying life again. I really encourage other new moms who are having difficulty after giving birth to reach out and get help. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and believe me, you are not alone.