Pregnancy and motherhood can be extremely challenging times. Some women feel a pressure to be “Supermum”, balancing work, home, and children. Others may have difficulty bonding with their baby, or overcoming the trauma of a complicated delivery. Sometimes challenges include relationship issues, problems with sleep or feeding, or the grief of a miscarriage or still birth. Women can end up feeling overwhelmed, anxious and guilty. This can place enormous pressure on a woman’s mental health and on her relationships. At Thoughtful Health we have a number of therapists who can assist.
Our psychiatrists Dr Hamilton and Dr McAulay are experienced in the management of perinatal psychiatry, and can assist with pre-conception planning, pregnancy and post-natal care. Sometimes women have a previous diagnosis of depression or anxiety and are concerned about taking medication while pregnant or breastfeeding. Dr Hamilton and Dr McAulay have specialist knowledge and can advise you and your GP about the use of antidepressants and other psychiatric medicines during and after pregnancy.
Bonding with a new baby can be difficult and create problems in relationships with your partner and other children. Catherine Daly is an occupational therapist specialising in child and family therapy, who can provide individual and group therapy to assist with bonding and attachment, behavioural difficulties and parent-child relationship problems.
Psychologist Dr Kristie Alcorn has a particular interest in women's issues. She is interested in fostering the psychological wellbeing of women and their partners in pregnancy and postpartum and works with the following concerns: Optimising functioning in pregnancy and postpartum; treating psychological difficulties in pregnancy and following childbirth; assisting women following stressful and traumatic birth events; addressing fear associated with childbirth and the birth process; and working on optimal adjustment to parenthood and managing role changes. Kristie also has experience and an interest in assisting women struggling with infertility.
Bianca Limpus is accredited to provide non-directive psychological interventions under Medicare for pregnancy support. This scheme gives rebates for up to three sessions with a referral and where the person has had a pregnancy within the last twelve months (current or recent).
Women find pregnancy support counselling helpful for a number of pregnancy-related issues including:
· Making decisions and exploring possible options about a pregnancy
· Coming to terms with unexpected outcomes (e.g. still birth, miscarriage, genetic conditions, problems at birth, cot death/SIDS)
· Dealing with a variety of feelings related to her pregnancy, birth or early months of being a parent
· Coping with the birth of multiple babies - twins, triplets or more
· Psychological treatments for pregnancy-related conditions including baby blues and post-natal depression or anxiety
· Discussing her pregnancy with others (e.g. partner, children, parents, religious or cultural groups)