Are you, or your partner unhappy or ambivalent about your pregnancy?
Is your pregnancy difficult physically or emotionally?
Counseling and psychotherapy has been shown in research studies to be the safest and most effective treatment in dealing with stress, anxiety or depression during pregnancy.
Here are some of the areas where pregnancy counseling can help:
- Anxiety due to a medically high risk pregnancy
- Depression during pregnancy
- Lack of support by your partner during pregnancy
- Previous difficult or traumatic birth experience
- Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
If you are pregnant but are stressed or unhappy about it in some way, you might feel like you are on a rollercoaster of emotions. While your friends may appear joyful and “glow” during their pregnancies, you may be confused, sad, tearful or apprehensive much of the time.
Many pregnant women have successfully used counseling and psychotherapy to help with a medically high risk pregnancy, improve their mood, overcome previous loss and trauma, and resolve relationship conflict related to the pregnancy.
Pregnancy counseling can help ease your anxiety and depression, calm your mind, and support you in your well-being while you take care of yourself and your unborn baby. Unlike any anti-depressant medication, you will improve how you feel without posing any threat to your fetus.
High Risk Pregnancy
If you are diagnosed with any of these, your doctor has likely you that your pregnancy is high risk:
- Gestational diabetes
- A chronic medical condition
- Pregnancy with multiples
If you are in one or more of the situations above, you may be scared and worried about the health of your baby. With the list of things that can go wrong during your pregnancy in these situations, it is understandable that you are worried.
The problem is that stress, worry, fear negatively effects the fetus and can increase the risk for your baby.
The only thing scarier than getting diagnosed with high-risk pregnancy is feeling alone helpless, scared and confused.
Counseling during pregnancy has been shown to be safe and an effective method overcoming feelings of distress and anxiety. Therapy can help assess what your anxiety “triggers” and how to manage them so that you are calmer and more in control of your emotions. This helps you feel better, but also decreases stress on the fetus.
Depression During Pregnancy
If you are depressed and pregnant you may feel miserable and also experience adverse reproductive outcomes such as:
- pregnancy complications
- low birth-weight babies
- pre-term delivery
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with pre-existing depression, depression caused by a recent loss, problems at work or in a relationship, depression can cause negative effects on your mental state and on your unborn baby. As a mother, you want the best for your baby, which is why it’s very important that you seek help if you are depressed while pregnant.
The American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians recommend psychotherapy as the safest and effective treatment during pregnancy for mild and moderate depression.
If you are considering getting pregnant or are pregnant and feeling down, counseling, can help you feel better without worrying about side-effects to you or your baby.
Often short-term psychological counseling is also effective in reducing anxiety and panic attacks that often accompany depression. Furthermore, counseling can prevent future relapses of depressive episodes and postpartum depression.
Lack of Support from Your Partner During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is the time when women feel particularly vulnerable and need a great deal of emotional and physical support. Ambivalent or unsupportive fathers can cause you, as an expectant mom to feel stressed out.
According to research, the biggest predictor of maternal blues is a woman’s concerns about her relationship with her partner.
Studies show that unsupportive fathers-to-be depress expecting moms more than any other factor, which is not only harmful to their health, but can threaten the health of the unborn child.
Depression in mothers due to not receiving enough support from their partners has been linked to premature delivery, low birth-weight and a host of ill effects later in their children’s life.
Individual and couples counseling is an effective way to resolve relationship conflicts, and improve communication between parents-to-be. Counseling can also enhance your sense of competence to talk with your partner and request to have your needs met.
Previous Traumatic Birth Experience
If you’ve had a traumatic birthing experience in the past that posed physical or emotional threats to you or your baby, you may be fearful about your current pregnancy. Common examples are: difficult birth, unsupportive partner or medical staff during birth, a still-born birth, etc.
It is also common for women with a history of sexual abuse to have flashbacks or memories of the abuse surface, before or during the birth experience.
The fact is that your traumatic experience will not disappear on its own.
The good news is you are not doomed to suffer and re-live your trauma.
If you have had a traumatic experience during birth, or an unpleasant experience related to your body and genital area, you can benefit from counseling in order to help you have a more peaceful and safe birth.
Unplanned and Unwanted Pregnancy
Having to deal with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy can be one of the biggest challenges you and your partner may face.
You might feel tremendous pressure and feel like the world is closing on you if you are pregnant under any of the following circumstances:
- You’re in a relationship and lack the financial resources to accommodate a baby
- You, and/or your partner does not want the pregnancy, or is ambivalent about it.
- You are concerned that you’re career will be compromised by a pregnancy and/or child.
- You are a single woman without enough support, or are in an unstable relationship
- You’ve been trying for a second child, but end up pregnant with twins or triplets
There is nothing more difficult than trying to make significant decisions about your pregnancy when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Having a therapist can help you clear your mind and figure out what would be the best solution for you or you and your partner or family.
If you and your partner disagree about your options, or if you feel stuck and have difficulty making a decision, counseling can help. It will provide space for you, or you and your partner to get help and decrease the stress and any conflict.
If you want to enjoy your pregnancy and have a healthy baby, you deserve to have peace-of-mind. Counseling can provide the reassurance that you are getting proven treatment for yourself that will help ensure that you and your baby will be safe and happy.
As a psychologist who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum issues, I’ve supported hundreds of women who struggled with depression and anxiety, overcame trauma and managed their high risk pregnancy.
I know that you can feel better, decrease complications during pregnancy and increase your chances of having healthy baby.
If you want to feel better and want to be proactive about taking care of yourself and your baby, call me for a free 10-minute phone consultation at 281-267-1742 or to book your in-person appointment in my Houston or Woodlands office. You can also book a Skype session if you live in New York City. Click on the BOOK NOW button below.