Post Natal Depression and Trauma
“There is a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.”
Laura Stavoe Harm
Pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting is a massive transition and many women have mixed feelings. Women may have relationship difficulties or be without a supportive partner. They may experience a difficult pregnancy or labour which leaves them feeling traumatised, or go on to experience postnatal depression. Often too, women feel very alone at this time and lacking in support around them.
It’s estimated that up to 30% of women experience post natal depression and that women who are depressed in pregnancy are more at risk. Support during pregnancy can really help.
Counselling and support
In addition to being a counsellor and psychotherapist I have worked as a nurse and health visitor and trained as a birth doula with Michel Odent. I have over 20 years experience of counselling with women during pregnancy and in the postnatal period. I'm also a parent. My own experience of childbirth led me to want to work with other women who might be struggling.
The good news is that very often, a space to talk at this time helps women not to feel alone and isolated and this can make a huge difference.
Before and after childbirth
Some of the support I can offer might include:
- Counselling support during pregnancy.
- Resource tapping and EMDR related techniques can strengthen women’s confidence around labour.
- Women sometimes feel shocked or traumatised after childbirth. This might be due to birth complications, a long labour, or the intensity of the experience. Women might find it difficult to move on from the birth or to fully connect with their baby. Counselling and birth debriefing can be helpful to many women who feel like this.
- For women who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD following childbirth, EMDR can be a way of resolving this trauma.
- Counselling for postnatal depression. Often counselling support, a simple space to talk and feel truly listened to and heard can be helpful in the postnatal period. For many women a short series of counselling sessions is enough for them to move forwards with more confidence and a sense of wellbeing.
- Psychotherapy for women who feel that their experience has led them to question deeper issues about themselves and their relationships. Having a baby can mean that women review their relationship with their own mother and raise issues that stretch back to early life.
Sharing feelings around postnatal depression
Talking with me about these issues will be confidential and supportive. It is important to stress that postnatal depression is common and for the vast majority of women, sharing feelings is a very positive and healing experience.
If you would like to contact me please call or leave a message on 07733 276854, or get in touch by email using my secure online contact form.