• Health
  • 17 April 2023

Pregnancy Counselling An Overview

Pregnancy counselling has gained popularity in recent years as more people have come to know its benefits. Moreover, this generation has seen the consequences of being unable to identify the stress and anxiety women experience during and after pregnancy. Pregnancy and parenthood can bring physical, emotional and psychological changes, which can be handled smoothly with the help of proper counselling. Pregnancy counselling can be helpful for women carrying children, their partners and family.

What is Pregnancy Counselling

Pregnancy counselling is a form of therapy that is provided by trained counsellors, social workers, psychologists, or other mental health professionals. Even though pregnancy is a time of great joy, anticipation, and change, some may not be able to handle the transition well. Proper pregnancy counselling provides support and guidance to expecting mothers and their families. Depending upon the provider you choose, the counselling covers a range of topics, from preconception care to postpartum support. Let us look into some details of the stages and types involved in pregnancy counselling.

Preconception Counselling - Prepare Well Before Conceiving

Preconception counselling is a stage in pregnancy counselling which is not always considered by many. But, it is an important aspect of pregnancy care for anyone considering becoming pregnant. For certain women, like those who have experienced complications in previous pregnancies or have particular health conditions, such as diabetes or epilepsy, undergoing preconception counselling will enable them to identify and address any potential risk factors by having discussions with a healthcare provider.

Prenatal Counselling - Nurture Your Pregnancy

Prenatal counselling involves regular appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor the health of the mother and baby. It is provided throughout the term of pregnancy and will help to address any concerns or questions. Expecting mothers can manage pregnancy-related symptoms, get ready for childbirth and thereby ensure a healthy pregnancy with the help of prenatal pregnancy.

Pregnancy Counselling - Types

Despite the fact that the expecting mother is the one going through physical changes, including variations in hormone levels, it's not only them who may need therapy. Pregnancy counselling is available in individual, family and group sessions. Individual counselling provides one-on-one therapy sessions for expecting mothers, and family counselling offers help to the entire family to address challenges and concerns related to pregnancy. Mothers who are going through similar experiences can share their thoughts and concerns in a supportive environment with group counselling sessions.

From Emotional Support to Practical Guidance - Benefits of Pregnancy Counselling

Expecting mothers and their families can get many benefits from pregnancy counselling, which is conducted by an authorised provider. Let us discuss some of the advantages of pregnancy counselling:

  1. Emotional support: Pregnancy is a time of huge transition for expecting women as well as the people around them. However, stress and anxiety can be reduced, and feelings of well-being can be increased with the emotional support provided by pregnancy counselling.
  2. Improved coping skills: During pregnancy, women will not only encounter unexpected changes in their mental state but will also experience noticeable physical challenges. Pregnancy counselling can help women and their partners to improve their coping skills to deal with such difficulties.
  3. Increased knowledge: Lack of awareness regarding pregnancy, childbirth and parenting makes the journey of an expecting mother and the people around her hard. Pregnancy counselling can provide people with important information about these so that they can make informed decisions about their health and the health of their baby. This will help them to be prepared for the wonderful journey ahead.
  4. Better communication: It is crucial for couples to have a strong and supportive relationship during pregnancy and beyond. This can be accomplished with pregnancy counselling, where an expert will help improve their communication skills.
  5. Improved mental health: Pregnant women are seen as prone to mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Pregnancy counselling helps detect any such pre-existing issues and prevents further development of any.
  6. Enhanced pregnancy outcomes: Better pregnancy outcomes, like the low number of preterm birth, low birth weights etc., can be achieved through pregnancy counselling. They can also avoid any other delivery-related complications as they will be well-prepared for any situation that may arise.

What To Expect - Procedure And Topics Covered

Pregnancy counselling sessions can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the expecting woman and partner. One session may last anywhere between 45 minutes to one hour. Even though the procedure may vary with each provider, here is what someone can expect during typical counselling sessions.

  1. Preliminary consultation: In the first session, the counsellor will get to know the expecting mother, the couple, their relationship status, and their goals for counselling in detail.
  2. Evaluation: The counsellor will employ diverse assessments to assist the mother and her partner in examining their emotional and psychological wellness, as well as their comprehension and awareness of pregnancy and parenting.
  3. Discussion of specific topics: It is said that each pregnancy is different. For the same reason, at this stage, the counsellor will need to emphasise different topics for each couple. Subjects that are important for pregnancy and parenthood include prenatal care, childbirth, parenting, and relationship issues.
  4. Homework assignments: In between the sessions, the health care provider may give homework assignments to the couple. Through these tasks, the woman and partner can practise communication skills, learn more about prenatal care, or explore specific topics related to their relationship.
  5. Implementing the skills: The woman and her partner might have learned some skills and strategies throughout the counselling sessions. In the final stage, the counsellor will help them implement those into their daily life. Improving communication skills, developing their birth plan, researching parenting styles etc., can be included in this phase.

An authorised pregnancy counsellor can give expert advice and recommendations on a wide range of pregnancy-related topics. In addition to providing emotional and mental support, a counsellor can also offer guidance on healthy lifestyle habits, nutrition of mother and baby, what symptoms to expect during and after pregnancy etc.

Choosing The Right Counsellor

Qualification and experience are the primary factors when choosing any counsellor or health care provider. A provider affiliated with a proficient institution with specialised training in pregnancy and childbirth will be a great choice. You can always look for reviews and recommendations before deciding on the counsellor. Pregnancy may demand physical rest at some stages, so it is advised to consider the provider's location also.

The Bottom Line

As discussed in the blog, pregnancy counselling can provide expecting parents with many benefits. Therefore pregnancy counselling remains a helpful tool for them. If you are considering becoming pregnant or are pregnant, seeking pregnancy counselling will help you guide this critical journey in your life.