Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation, but it’s not always exciting or easy. If you want to explore your changing identity, prepare emotionally and psychologically for birth, process lingering fears and anxieties, or attend to issues from the past that have suddenly resurfaced, prenatal counseling can offer you guidance and support.
Your Shifting Identity
As your body stretches to accommodate your growing baby, your identity is also expanding in order to embody this new phase of the family life cycle. You may find that you’re reflecting on yourself and others in new ways, that your perspective and priorities are changing, and that you’re wondering what kind of birth you’ll have and what kind of mother you’ll be. It’s normal for this reorganization of identity to cause some uncertainty and anxiety, but using your awareness and intention to unfold this process more consciously can be an empowering experience. Counseling sessions can help you take stock of your current identity, start building your motherhood identity, and close any gaps or obstacles interfering with the integration of the two.
Preparing For Labor & Birth
The experience of labor and birth is a transformative journey, and many women find it helpful to prepare emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually for this momentous occurrence. Maybe you’re looking for some in-depth information on your various birth-related options. Maybe you’re feeling inspired to explore your hopes, goals, and intentions. Maybe you’re noticing a need to address fears and concerns that have surfaced during pregnancy. Or maybe you’re hoping to process some “unfinished” personal or family history before the baby arrives. Each person will have their own unique way of preparing for labor and birth, and I’m here to help you discover yours.
Body Image Adjustments
Body image is a powerful presence in the lives of many women, and the physical changes that accompany pregnancy can stir up unwanted inner criticisms and conflicting feelings. For some women, pregnancy may be the first time you’ve ever had to surrender to physical changes that are beyond your control, and this loss of control can be frustrating and scary. Counseling sessions can help you work through anxieties about your changing body, promote acceptance of things beyond your control, and support you to find inner strengths and resources that are stable even when outer appearances change.
Addressing Worries & Fears
As exciting as pregnancy can be, it’s also a time when women are vulnerable to the onset of fears and anxieties. It’s normal for fears to surface in the face of the unknown and in anticipation of big life changes, but if anxiety is getting the better of you or interfering with your sleep and usual activities, then it may be time to reach out for help. You can use counseling sessions to explore your concerns more deeply, understand the driving force behind the anxiety, and come up with effective coping strategies.
There’s a lot of pressure on women to be excited and happy about their pregnancy, but the prenatal period is an especially vulnerable time. Women may be coping with an unplanned pregnancy, chronic morning sickness or other physical discomforts, profound shifts in mood and lifestyle, lack of family or social supports, previous loss or trauma, and the list goes on and on. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety during pregnancy, you’re not alone. Around 20% of pregnant women are also struggling with these symptoms, and counseling can offer you the support and understanding needed during this overwhelming time of transition. It’s a safe and confidential place where you can bring all of your thoughts and feelings to the table so we can discover ways of helping you to feel better.
Miscarriage & Loss
Miscarriage, infertility, and other pregnancy related losses are some of the most overlooked grief experiences that exist. Unfortunately, our culture does not adequately recognize these difficult losses, leaving women and couples isolated in their grief and with little support or resources. If you’ve lost or have been unable to conceive a baby and need a place to process your grief, I’m here to help.