Perinatal Mental Health Therapy

Perinatal Mental Health includes Preconception, Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond

Perinatal mental health includes preconception, pregnancy, birth, and the first 12 months postpartum. This is a particularly vulnerable time for mental health.

Pregnancy and Postpartum are difficult because emotions are at an all-time high, and sleep can be at an all-time low. Not to mention, it is a season of life that involves so much change: body changes, hormonal changes, lifestyle changes, relationship changes, career changes, and identity changes.

The perinatal period also includes difficult experiences when reproduction does not go as hoped. Many people struggle with pregnancy loss, infertility, or birth and reproductive trauma. These experiences of loss and trauma can be devasting and tough to navigate.

And the struggles do not stop at the year mark. Many moms and parents struggle with mental health at various seasons of parenthood. It is all hard.

As a Registered Psychologist and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Provider (PMH-C), I offer clients trusted perinatal and maternal mental health care in the below areas.

Click the links to learn more.

My Personal Perinatal Mental Health Story

Perinatal Psychologist Alberta, Perinatal Mental Health Specialist and Birth Trauma

(2017: New mom Ashley holds her 3-day-old, 28-week preemie in the NICU following a traumatic pregnancy and birth experience)

Early in my career, perinatal and maternal mental health was not on my radar. That changed when I had a child of my own in 2017. My personal journey into motherhood involved pregnancy complications, traumatic birth, NICU stay, and huge identity and lifestyle shifts.

I learned firsthand how vulnerable this season of life can be for moms, birthing people, partners, and families. I also realized how little mental health support there was for this area. I felt so alone in my struggles. In 2017, we were not talking about birth trauma and perinatal trauma. This is thankfully changing, but it can still be isolating.

Once I worked through my own healing, I started training to develop my clinical specialty in Perinatal Mental Health, and it has been a huge focus of my work with clients ever since.

I am passionate about being able to provide trusted specialized mental health treatment to moms, dads, partners, and birthing people in this vulnerable period.

The perinatal period can present many mental health challenges, and you do not need to navigate through them alone.

Book a FREE, 20-minute phone consultation

What is PMH-C?

PMH-C stands for Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional. It is a relatively new designation from Postpartum Support International/PSI (est. 2018) and is quickly becoming the gold standard of competency in perinatal mental health care.

To obtain certification for PMH-C means that I completed, at minimum: basic and advanced clinical training in perinatal mental health, have at least 2 years of experience working with the perinatal population, and completed an exam testing competency in perinatal mental health. It also includes an obligation to continue professional development training in this area.

As a Registered Psychologist, I started working and training in perinatal mental health in 2018 and became certified as PMH-C in 2020.

Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional (PMH-C) Perinatal Postpartum Birth Trauma

I am here to help!

To develop my specialty in Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health, I completed extensive training in this area. I have obtained training from respected perinatal institutions, including Postpartum Support International, The Postpartum Stress Center/ The Karen Kleiman Training Center, and Touchstone Institute.

You have so much going on, and you deserve to trust you are in good hands when you reach out for therapy. This is why I will include a list of the major perinatal mental health trainings below.

Relevant Perinatal Mental Health Training

  • The Art of Holding for Perinatal OCD (2023). The Postpartum Stress Centre/The Karen Kleiman Training Center
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss: Effective Strategies to Support Grief and Treat Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression in Bereaved Parents (2022). PESI/Julie Bindeman
  • Women's Trauma Summit (2022). PESI
  • The Advanced Practice of EMDR for Perinatal & Infant Mental Health (2022). Centre for Creative Mindfulness/Touchstone Institute (Mara Tesler Stein)
  • The Art of Holding Perinatal Women in Distress: Assessment, Treatment, & Advanced Clinical Practice (2021). The Postpartum Stress Centre Professional Perinatal Training Program/ Karen Kleiman
  • Birth and Reproductive Trauma (2021). Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Trainings
  • Postpartum Support International Conference (2020 & 2021)
  • Advanced Perinatal Mental Health Psychotherapy Certificate (2020). Postpartum Support International
  • EMDR Therapy Training for Perinatal Mental Health Practitioners (2020). Centre for Creative Mindfulness/Touchstone Institute (Mara Tesler Stein)
  • Sex and Perinatal Mental Health Conference (2020). Maternal Mental Health Now
  • Traumatic Birth: Prevalence, Impacts and Implications for Clinical Practice (2020). Professional Education Program Monmouth University
  • Perinatal Loss: A Framework for Healing (2019). Bina Bird
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) for Perinatal Mood Disorders and Birth Trauma (2019). Portland Community College/ Fawn McCool
  • Women's Mental Health Day Conference (2018). University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine
  • Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training for Clinical Professionals. (2018). Postpartum Support International/2020 Moms

for a comprehensive list of training beyond perinatal mental health, click here

Touchstone Institute Therapist Network Perinatal Trauma and Birth Trauma

Becoming a mother leaves no woman as it found her. It unravels her and rebuilds her. It cracks her open, takes her to her edges. It’s both beautiful and brutal, often at the same time.

-Nikki McCahon

Specialized Virtual Perinatal Therapy

Virtual Perinatal Therapy is available for all residents of Alberta, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick (18+).

Virtual therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy but much more convenient. The perinatal period is stressful enough with so many appointments and a mental load. Therapy does not need to be complicated. Let's make therapy happen!

Hopeful Horizons

Holding Hope for a Better Tomorrow

If you are in the perinatal period and struggling with mental health, reach out today!

Schedule a free phone consultation or first appointment!