Pre and Post Natal Counselling
There are many topics within the broad spectrum of pre and post natal care that frequently cause worry and anxiety and are often not brought up with the doctor. These are areas where the counsellor can be of enormous help. Counselling can also provide support and strategies for coping while helping to put things in perspective throughout the pre and post natal period.
How does pre & post natal counselling work?
Pre and post natal counselling is a form of therapy facilitated by a professional counsellor, therapist, or psychologist to help women to cope with a wide range of often unexpected issues surrounding the long journey of confinement, through the birthing, and into the early stages of motherhood.
The issues highlighted on this page are those that most frequently lead to worry, anxiety or depression. The combination of physical and emotional changes can be simply overwhelming with even the best of pregnancies, whereas even minor hiccups along the way can result in high levels of stress and fear.
The counsellor can provide support and guidance through the maze of often conflicting information, a steady and realistic perspective, forward planning, and strategies for coping.
What type of issues can pre and post natal counselling help?
- Body Image – pre natal
- Body Image – post natal
- Stress and Expectations
- Anxiety and Depression
- Insecurity while caring for the baby
- Low Mood/Baby blues and Post Natal Depression
- Coping with the simultaneous roles of parenthood, career, and marital life
- Preparing to go back to work
What are the benefits of pre & post natal counselling?
Expectant mothers sometimes feel that their body is not their own. They find it difficult or have a sense of guilt when expressing those feelings to their friends and loved ones. Working with a counsellor will help to challenge any unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that may be the result of a deeper issue. Identifying the root causes will help one feel like themselves again.
Manage Stress and Expectations
When you’re pregnant, you are constantly bombarded with outside influences telling you what you’re doing wrong, what you should be doing differently and everything that could potentially go wrong. Counselling helps to separate the helpful information from the not-so-helpful information and to understand that it is okay to make mistakes or not know the right thing to do – part of prenatal counselling is finding a way to accept that.
Anxiety and Depression
It is important to conduct an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at around 30 weeks of pregnancy, as early detection of anxiety or depression can play a vital role in managing potential postpartum depression. Teaching clients various coping strategies and lifestyle changes they can implement that can potentially make a significant difference. This may include preemptively scheduling postpartum counselling sessions or bringing parenting partners in to discuss how they can support mama. The EPDS can also be a catalyst to discuss sleep, mood and emotions.
Parenthood, career and marriage
Often parents are shocked at the changes a baby can bring to their life. Discussing these changes and preparing for them allows for the least amount of disruption or disappointment in other facets of your life.
Preparing to go back to work opens up a myriad of stress-inducing thoughts, from loss of control of the baby’s activities to managing the parent-child-helper triangle and feelings of low self-esteem.
New Mums and sometimes even 2nd-time mums will feel insecure about being responsible for another human. Counselling support can allow these insecurities to be discussed and mitigated.