How to use this course
Everyone has a different learning style. Some like to read, others watch, write or participate. I highly encourage you to take notes as you go through the material. Writing helps you remember and engage your brain! There will occasionally be quizzes. Finally, the writing and journal sections are designed to give you the most insight. You may want to buy a special journal. Of course, it is possible to write on a computer, tablet or smart phone, but I recommend good, old-fashioned pen and paper... there is just something about it!
First, we will review the most common kinds of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). I hesitated to even include them, as to me, all parents are going through a transition. It is not a "disorder" that you are feeling all the feels. But I did promise to help you prevent PPD! So we will briefly go over them as a way to know what to watch out for. If you feel like you are already familiar with them, feel free to skip ahead.
The true heart of this course, and what I believe separates it from all of the other material that is available on the web, are the skills and strategies to manage and prevent anxiety, sadness and distress. If you are going to skip to any one section, don't get bogged down by the diagnoses, focus on the skills and the reproductive story. They are the solution.
Go at the right pace for you
Please pace yourself. You may find that some material is triggering or upsetting. Take frequent breaks to check in and see how you feel. If something is a little intense or activating, try to do something soothing, like take a big breath, stretch or change positions. If it is still upsetting, take a break and come back to the material when you are ready. If you find yourself extremely triggered, find a good friend or therapist to talk to. You can find a list of perinatal specialists around the world here.
Get a journal, a nice pen, and anything you might like for writing.