Pregnancy Support Counselling
The circumstances surrounding the confirmation of a pregnancy will impact the emotional response of all involved. A pregnancy can result in elation and great excitement. Or it may be a feared outcome. Sometimes it results in unexpected emotional responses such as guilt, anxiety, fear or trepidation. Sometimes such emotional responses come in waves and thinking about it is difficult.
Every pregnancy is different.
The impact of the pregnancy on other relationships, work, finances and other practical issues may cause great distress. Sometimes parents may have very different ideas and attitudes to the pregnancy and this can result in difficulties. Family and friends may have responses that complicate the situation, and cause distress. Sometimes the issues about the pregnancy can be overwhelming and there are more questions than answers.
Often the pregnancy may not proceed as expected. Things may not go well. The viability of the pregnancy may be in jeopardy. Testing may identify health issues for the baby. The health of the mother may be impacted. For many pregnancies miscarriage may occur. Having to make vital decisions can be overwhelming. These challenges may result in stress and anxiety and other emotions such as grief, despair, fear or concern.
When we add hormones to the mix it is easy to understand the fluctuating moods and emotional impact of pregnancy.
Seeking assistance to help sort through your concerns, conflicting thoughts and emotional responses can be beneficial. Counselling with someone who can help you do this can help you sort through your feelings and help you plan a way ahead.
Heather Thompson is registered with Medicare to provide non-directive pregnancy support counselling services. Medicare rebates are available for up to 3 sessions per patient per pregnancy. LINK to Medicare
This service involves the counsellor undertaking a safe confidential space that helps the person explore concerns they have about a pregnancy. This includes providing unbiased, evidence-based information about all the options and service available where requested.
Discuss your eligibility for this service with your GP.
Having a baby is an emotionally charged experience as well as being an intensely challenging physical experience. It’s quite normal to experience the baby blues after giving birth! Up to 80% of new mums experience post-partum depression. Often feelings of depression start within a few days of delivery and generally resolve within a few weeks.
However, for up to 15% of women symptoms persist and can last for a month or years if left untreated.
Common Symptoms of Post-Partum Depression
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty bonding with your baby
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating
- Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
- Reduced interest in pleasurable activities
- Feeling that you are not a good mother
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt and inadequacy
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Feeling numb and overwhelmed
- Thinking about harming yourself or your baby
Treatment for Post-Partum Depression
Women often feel ashamed or embarrassed by their symptoms especially as there is a common belief that having a new baby is a happy time in your life! Yet Post-Partum Depression can be successfully treated, and seeking professional help from a skilled counsellor is a very helpful thing you can do for yourself, your baby, and family.
When to Seek Help
- If your symptoms don’t subside within two weeks
- If your symptoms are getting worse
- If you are finding it difficult to care for your baby
- If you are unable to complete everyday tasks
- If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby,
- Seek immediate assistance from your partner, family or friends.
- Call 000 for immediate assistance
- Call Lifeline 13 11 14
- Call Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467