Pregnancy Anxiety, Post-Natal Depression and Parenting
Sometimes society creates the impression that pregnancy, having a new baby and becoming a parent is all joy and fulfillment. This is not necessarily an inaccurate view but for many, the experiences can be challenging and not feel as they had imagined.
The changes experienced during pregnancy both physically and emotionally can have an impact on our mental well being. Some women experience increased anxiety during pregnancy and that can be for many reasons but may include; worries about their or their baby's health, childcare, body image alterations, new responsibilities, changes in work patterns or financial alterations. Talking about how you feel and your individual experience can help you make sense of the changes you are facing.
Birth experiences are very different, if you found labour and/or delivery difficult, you may even describe it as traumatic then you may be experiencing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) People who have PTSD may get flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and many other symptoms. There are several options for treating this condition and one of them is talking therapy. Gradually facing your frightening/traumatic experience at your own pace in the safety of the therapy room can help you begin to understand your feelings and make sense of what happened and why you feel as you do.
Post-natal depression isn't just a 'case of baby blues' or feeling tired in the early weeks following the birth, it is a clinical condition that can affect anyone. More than 1 in 10 women will experience it, fathers can also experience it but this is less common. Post-natal depression can start at any time during the first year after the birth of your baby. There are many symptoms such as; feeling sad or low moods, trouble sleeping, feeling tired during the day or general lack of energy/enthusiasm, loss of interest or joy in your life, wanting to withdraw from others and frightening thoughts, possibly about harming yourself or your baby. Post-natal depression can be a very isolating and frightening experience but there are treatments that can make a difference and help you to feel better. Talking therapy is one of the options and can be done in association with other treatments. counselling gives you a safe space and supports you whilst you Explore your feelings and understand your experience.