Finding out that you are pregnant can be both exciting and daunting for many women, regardless of whether it is a planned pregnancy or not.
There are many decisions that have to be made regarding pregnancy health care, birthing options, financial and career decisions and how best to gain support. For many women this time can be positive and rewarding, however it is common for women to also experience times when they may feel more vulnerable, uncertain and even overwhelmed. So many opinions from others about what is the best care, new limitations around what is “safe”, changes to lifestyle, morning sickness and the list goes on …
Counselling During Pregnancy
Counselling during pregnancy is one way to quickly come to terms with these changes, and can help clarify any decisions that have to be made, without becoming overwhelmed. It is normal in pregnancy to feel more anxious as the physiological changes during pregnancy can cause a women’s metabolism to run a little faster and increase the feeling of being nervous or edgy.
While many women enrol in antenatal classes, these tend to focus on the physiological process of labour and childbirth.
The psychological aspect often isn’t addressed, which is a shame because some of the pressure or stress that arises for pregnant women is related to fear around pain, or how they will cope with birth or medical intervention. For many women their own birth is the first time that they will have been present during a labour or birth and many of the ways of managing or coping – such as calm birth, active birthing, or hypnotherapy to assist with pain relief – are foreign to them. This all means that there is a risk of feeling out of control.
For this reason, social support is very important for the emotional wellbeing of mothers, and has been proven to prevent depression. Building the right kind of supports is very important, from the very start of pregnancy.
Depression Before and After Birth
One of the common myths is that depression starts AFTER the birth. Most women with depression after the birth have been depressed at some point in their past. There are many things that women can do to improve resilience and cope more effectively during the pregnancy and birth. Labour and birth can feel like a marathon and preparation at an emotional level is vitally important.
Medicare now funds non-directive counselling for pregnancy for three 30 minute appointments with a specially trained psychologist. Every woman is eligible for this counselling for 12 months for each pregnancy.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.