New Mom, please be kind to yourself

New mom be kindDear New Mom,

Not long ago, you gave birth to another human being: a precious, but demanding bundle of needs that has turned your world upside down, and in the process, unsettled every idea you had about yourself, your purpose, and your path.  You likely feel raw and maybe a little bit lost.  Maybe there are days you spend in a cocoon of sweet love that is different from anything you have known before. Every mom would like to remain there. Please try to remember that it is okay to have days when that love lurks in some inaccessible corner of your heart because you are just too tired to feel anything but desperate need for rest and normalcy. Be kind to yourself when you feel like this.

We are so good at being nurturing towards others but not ourselves. When you are in pain, try to tread gently and carefully, just like you do when walking into your sleeping baby’s nursery. Ask: what do I need now? How do I care for myself in this hard, hard moment? You are not weak because you are struggling. You are human. You are also undergoing one of the deepest, hardest transformations of your life: becoming a mother. It will change you forever, and you will fight and struggle with that; you will grieve and yearn for your old life. You will also find the ground again. There will be joy, delight, and connection, and a kaleidoscope of emotions, ever shifting in response to events, thoughts, people, milestones.

Whatever you feel, do not judge yourself. Motherhood is hard enough. Anyone who says it is not is untruthful.  I hope you will seek and find your community – an emotional space where you can be real, where it is okay to be imperfect. You deserve support. We simply cannot mother alone.

If deep sadness has taken up residence in your heart and will not leave, causing you more and more pain, or if anxiety has left you feeling adrift and unable to rest, please do not wait to seek professional help. You will get better. You deserve to thrive.

New Mom, be kind to yourself. Start there. It won’t make everything easier or better, but it will be like a cool drink on a sweltering day. That’s a good start, isn’t it?

About Aga Grabowski, LCSW, PMH-C, CST (she/her)

I am a co-founder of Wildflower, a psychotherapist, a presenter and a consultant in the area of perinatal and reproductive mental health.  Many other aspects of my personal identity shape my clinical work: chief among them is the family and immigrant background which has informed my attunement to the psychological upheaval that accompanies major life transitions and to the many sociocultural forces that impact our lived experience.

In my clinical work, I am focused on helping people thrive and cope during periods of significant change, and particularly during journeys towards and through parenthood which may involve infertility, losses, depression, anxiety, and conflict.  I work with people from all walks in life. Clients I work with are some of the strongest, most resilient folks I know. They don’t always feel this way, and they come to therapy feeling raw, maybe lost, and certainly quite vulnerable. It takes courage to confront your pain and struggle. I view psychotherapy as a deeply collaborative process that aims to help you discover and tap into your strengths and resources.  You already have what it takes to feel better, be happier, face challenges – good psychotherapy basically helps you access all that. This can only happen if your therapist genuinely cares about and respects you and is invested in their own ongoing professional development and personal growth.

I have extensive training in perinatal and reproductive mental health, evidence-based treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, sex therapy, and trauma.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Chicago and obtained my master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.  I often present on topics related to mental health. I am an AASECT-certified sex therapist and a certified perinatal mental health clinician. My most valuable learning experiences come from my clients: their experience, wisdom and perspective have shaped my clinical practice the most, something I am deeply grateful for.

LCSW License Number:149016046
Type 1 NPI Number: 1841631132
Accepts: BCBS PPO and BlueChoice plans, Lyra, self-pay and out of network clients


Selected training and affiliation
AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training
Bringing Baby Home Educator Training, Gottman Institute
Circle of Security Parent Educator
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) training
Gottman Method Level 1 training
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training

Key beliefs
People are stronger and more resilient than they often realize.
Our culture teaches us to be fiercely independent. To thrive, we need to embrace being interdependent -- deep connection with others is essential for happiness.

More about me
I love the outdoors and hiking, camping, kayaking.
I can’t live without chocolate.
I feel grateful every day for getting to do the work I love.