Perinatal Mood Disorders include a wide range of symptoms that start anytime from conception until one year post partum.
People with Perinatal Depression might experience feelings of anger, sadness, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, changes in eating and sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or themselves.
(It is NOT the 'baby blues' - which occurs in the first two weeks after birth and is characterized by tearfulness, but the predominant mood is happiness.)
People with Perinatal Anxiety may experience extreme worries and fears, often over the health and safety of the baby. Some people have panic attacks and might feel shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, a feeling of losing control, and numbness and tingling.
Perinatal OCD can have repetitive, upsetting and unwanted thoughts or mental images (obsessions), and sometimes they need to do certain things over and over (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts. These parents find these thoughts very scary and unusual and are very unlikely to ever act on them.
Perinatal PTSD is often caused by a traumatic or frightening childbirth, trauma surrounding miscarriage or stillbirth, fears for your life or the life of the baby during pregnancy or past trauma. Symptoms may include flashbacks of the trauma with feelings of anxiety and the need to avoid things related to that event.
Kristine treats all perinatal mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, rage, OCD and PTSD. She also has experience and training in specialty areas of Perinatal Mood Disorders.
Postpartum depression is well known - but just as common are symptoms of anxiety and rage/irritability. These disorders are different than standard anxiety, depression or anger management - they require treatment from a specialized provider to ensure the symptoms are treated properly. Kristine has been trained by some of the most respected therapists in the world to be able to recognize and treat these disorders.
80% of parents have scary thoughts about bad things happening to their baby. If these thoughts become difficult to turn off - there are specialized treatments that can help re-train your brain.
Perinatal OCD is when these thoughts become disturbing to the parent and then they take steps to prevent them from happening (such as only carrying the baby down a flight of stairs with the baby in their car seat because they fear they might drop them).
Treatment is avaliable that works to help get your life and your joy back.
Bedrest can be an incredibly stressful and anxiety-provoking time for a pregnant mom. Kristine offers electronic counselling sessions (such as Skype or phone counselling) so that moms on bedrest can get the support they need. This support can be as complex as addressing serious anxiety about the health conditions or as straightforward as developing a mental-health plan for making it through bedrest feeling strong and confident.
It can be tricky to navigate pregnancy and the post partum period if you identify as LGBTQ+, including same-sex, non-binary or transgender pregnancies and parenting experiences.
Kristine is well versed in the special issues that can be faced, in addition to simply providing a non-judgemental environment for any feelings that are being experienced during this period.
Post Partum Anxiety and Depression occur up to 7 times more often in parents whose babies had NICU/ICN stays, as compared to those who didn't. The majority of NICU/ICN parents also showed at least some symptoms of PTSD.
However the problem is under-diagnosed because the symptoms often don't begin until the baby comes home.
Kristine offers specialized care for these parents to help free them to enjoy life again without these symptoms.
Did you know that 3-10% of pregnancies result in symptoms of trauma? Traumas can arise from if you feel that your life or the life of your baby is at risk.
These can include traumas from past pregnancy, traumatic events during pregnancy (including a diagnosis that baby or mom may not survive the pregnancy), birth trauma or baby stays in the NICU/ICN. Even a diagnosis that a baby may not survive the pregnancy can be traumatic - despite everything turning out okay.
I offer specialized treatment for these traumas to help reduce or eliminate symptoms, improve quality of life and get you back to feeling like yourself.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss.
In almost all cases, the mother didn't do anything 'wrong'. The loss just happened.
Nothing can stop the ache that is created by miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
Kristine is well trained in how to help guide you through this process with kindness, compassion and practical tools to ease the suffering.
If an eating disorder has occured in the past, pregnancy or the post partum period can either be a time of remission or a time where symptoms significantly increase in severity. These can include restricting, excessive exercise, purging or bingeing.
It takes specialized training in both eating disorders and perinatal mental health to be able to navigate the complex issues that arise. Kristine has significant training and experience, both with eating disorders and the perinatal period.
The intention is to help raise awareness of the factors that can potentially cause vulnerability to perinatal depression. This knowledge can help so that support networks can be mobilized and resources can be accessed. Treatment during pregnancy CAN lower your risks of developing a post partum mood disorder.
This tool (courtesy of the Post Partum Stress Center) can be used by pregnant women to self-assess their level of risk and discuss the results with their doctor or psychologist or it can be used by professionals to assess risk in the clients they work with. This assessment is not diagnostic. Risk factors do not cause postpartum depression.
Kristine Aanderson is only the second Psychologist in Canada to be certified by Postpartum Support International to treat perinatal mood disorders including depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD anytime from pregnancy to symptoms starting one year after birth. She has a private practice in southwest Edmonton. No referral needed, direct billing for Blue Cross and GreatWestLife insurance, baby-feeding friendly office, same-day appointments for emergencies often avaliable.
Kristine completed the Seleni Institute of New York's Maternal Mental Health Intensive. This program focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of Perinatal Mood Disorders (Depression, Anxiety, OCD and PTSD) and processing grief from miscarriages and stillbirths.
Kristine completed the Post Partum Support International training on Perintal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Components of Care. This training focused on Screening, Social Supports, Therapy for Perintal Depression, Anxiety, OCD and PTSD and treatment for moms, dads and members of the LGBTTQQIAAP community.
Kristine has completed the post-graduate training in maternal mental health from the Postpartum Stress Center in Pennsilvania. The training is run by Karen Klieman, author of almost a dozen books on perinatal mood disorders and their treatment. This training focused on advanced clinical skills needed to care for Perinatal Mood Disorders including depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, suicidal thoughts, bipolar and postpartum psychosis.
Post Partum Support International also offers a variety of supports, including a "Warm Line" (a phone line with messages returned within 24 hours) and live weekly group phone chats (one for moms and one for dads).
For more resources related to the diagnosis, treatment and support for perinatal mood disorders and for resources for professionals, please visit
I Listen Counselling at alpineHealth
#207 - 14127-23 Ave.
Phone (780) 297-7989
Fax (587) 407-2709