Women react to the news of pregnancy and the experience of childbirth and early parenting in different ways.
They seek help for a variety of reasons including:
The moment you discover you are pregnant can bring on a range of emotions. Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can be daunting too. Sometimes things do not go to plan.
Unexpected outcomes, for example, miscarriage, discovery of genetic conditions and reactions of your significant others, including partners and family, may also give rise to strong and persistent emotions.
If the emotions experienced are negative and weighing on your mind it is often helpful to talk to a professional.
The thought of birth can cause much anxiety. Not only the perceived physical demand but also the kind of birth you may want. Past experiences of birth, either yours or another woman’s, may influence decisions you make and it may be helpful to talk through these anxieties and thoughts before decisions are made.
If there are unexpected outcomes, for example, a “bad” or traumatic birth, a caesarean, complications, injury or stillbirth; then professional counselling can often help.
Counselling for early parenting usually focuses on adjustment and confidence to parent, life transition (career woman to parent), and attachment to the child. A range of emotions can present and can be resolved with professional intervention.
A number of diagnosed mental health disorders may arise from pregnancy, childbirth and in the post natal period and other trauma in life. If you are at all concerned about your mental health and it is having a significant impact on your life and emotions please discuss it with a GP.
There are a number of services which are rebated by Medicare if you have a referral from your GP. Some of these services relate specifically to pregnancy, childbirth and the post natal period.
For diagnosed mental health disorders your GP may suggest a Mental Health Care Plan to coordinate care between your GP and a Psychologist. Once you have a Mental Health Care Plan and a referral, you are eligible for an initial six sessions, and further sessions may be available after a review.
Without a GP referral psychology services are still available but a Medicare rebate is not. However, if you are privately insured you may be able to claim a rebate with your health insurer.