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PERINATAL COUNSELLING

The journey to parenthood is one of the most powerful and gratifying experiences we can have, but it can also be incredibly overwhelming, depleting, and potentially traumatic.

Who is perinatal counselling for?

 We support clients at various stages of parenthood – there is no time limit on when you are worthy or deserving of support. We also recognize that the perinatal period can uniquely impact the mental health and wellbeing of 2SLGBTQIA+ people and those from other underserved communities, such as those with disabilities, experiencing weight discrimination or experiencing racism.

 

Perinatal mental health concerns affect between 10 and 20 percent of pregnant women and new mothers, and the non-child-bearing parent can experience problems as well. It is estimated that 10 percent of fathers experience perinatal mental health challenges. Particularly for those with a history of mental illness, whether during their reproductive years or not, relapse is common at this life stage.

Some of the perinatal concerns that we support clients with include:

  • Managing stress before, during or after pregnancy
  • Planning for pregnancy and parenthood
  • Adapting to being a parent: identity, changing roles, family dynamics
  • Enhancing self-care
  • Dealing with feelings of anxiety or low mood (during pregnancy or postpartum)
  • Addressing birth trauma or disappointing birth experiences
  • Intrusive or scary thoughts
  • Disordered eating and body image concerns
  • Rage and anger concerns

Some common perinatal disorders include:

  • Pregnancy and postpartum depression: in women, often includes intense feelings of guilt, worthlessness, inadequacy, and regret; in men, often presents as anger, aggression, and addictive behaviours.
  • Pregnancy and postpartum anxiety: often includes excessive worries about the baby, finances, or work and is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as insomnia and muscle tension.
  • Postpartum psychosis: a rare disorder that is a psychiatric emergency; typically involves disorientation, delusions, or hallucinations. 
  • Perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): often involves intrusive and scary thoughts about harming the baby. 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): can occur due to traumatic events during pregnancy, labour or delivery. Pre-existing trauma can also be exacerbated by perinatal experiences. 

You do not need a formal diagnosis to access support.

Many people are ashamed to admit they are struggling with perinatal concerns, largely due to cultural perceptions about how they should feel during this period. However, know that these concerns are common and you are not alone. 

How can counselling help? 

Perinatal counselling provides a safe and accepting space in which to feel heard and understood in the difficulties that come with the perinatal period. It can also help you to understand the factors that may be contributing to your experience so that they can be addressed. It can help you grieve losses, reconstruct your identity, adjust relationships, address trauma, and develop tools for anxiety and stress resilience.

Our hope is to help you adjust to parenthood so that it can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

Monarch Psychology offers individual counselling both in-person and online with a free 15- minute phone consultation.

 

Contact us today for more information.