Jenny Cross, MA, LPC
Jenny was born and raised in Fairbanks, and even though she has left a few times for her education she always knew that she would return home to Fairbanks to raise a family. She received her Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2001, and has been a practicing counselor ever since. After the birth of her first child she began to understand the importance of the transition to motherhood and the difficulties that can come with it. This led her to begin to focus on counseling for women in pregnancy and postpartum, and she received a certificate in Maternal Mental Health in 2015. She has also worked extensively with victims of domestic violence and assault and has specialized training in the treatment of PTSD. Jenny lives in a sun-filled house with her husband , three birth center-born daughters, and two dogs. She enjoys reading, cooking, singing, dancing, and chocolate.
The transition to Motherhood is a time of great change- physically, socially, and emotionally. Our culture tells us that it should also be a time of uncomplicated joy, but this is not always the case. Disruptions can occur in all of these areas as well- physically, socially, and emotionally. It is very important that women understand that having difficulties while pregnant or postpartum is nothing to be ashamed of- more than 30% of women experience some form of perinatal mood disorder, and societal pressures are a big contributing factor. A history of trauma can make pregnancy and postpartum even more difficult. Too many women suffer in silence because of feelings of guilt and shame and their difficulties only become worse.
The good news is that, with treatment, these disorders have an excellent recovery rate. Studies show that that the sooner a woman seeks treatment, the shorter the course of the disorder and the less disruption in the relationship between mom and baby. At Alaska Family Health and Birth Center we take maternal mental health very seriously, and believe that it is an integral part of our care for mothers, both during pregnancy and postpartum. We are very excited that we are now able to provide counseling services onsite.