Prenatal Counseling & Childbirth Education
Pregnancy is often depicted as a beautiful, glorious time of happy feelings, stunning baby bumps, and incredible excitement. However, for some women, it can be more complicated than that. Between your changing body, fears of the future, and the unknowns of labor, pregnancy can be stressful and even scary at times. Most women seek prenatal care for themselves and their babies to ensure optimal physical health, but emotional health and psychological wellbeing are sometimes forgotten or ignored. Fortunately, pregnancy counseling, and childbirth education is available to any and all pregnant women, as well as their spouses, older kids, and other family members.
The power of your thoughts and the health of your mind are incredibly important when it comes to your overall health and the health of your unborn child. Unfortunately, physical medication cannot always help individuals deal with psychological and mental struggles—they may cover up the symptoms or the feelings, but they don’t actually correct the root cause of the problem. Talk therapy is a great way for all individuals to improve their mental strength and resilience, and it’s no different with pregnant women who are experiencing a big change in their lives. Many pregnancy services include prenatal counseling, such as those at NCHS. Prenatal counseling is an amazing way to face any fears and concerns you may have, and to move forward in your pregnancy with confidence, strength, and a healthy mindset. Here are just a few ways that prenatal counseling can help you through your entire pregnancy.
Let’s You Know You’re Not Alone
Many women have ideas and expectations about pregnancy, including the notion that it will be wonderful and amazing and beautiful all the time. When they learn it isn’t always that way, or that sometimes it’s not that way at all, they can feel like something is wrong with them or like they are the only person in the world who feels that way. Both childbirth education and prenatal counseling gives you a safe place to express your fears and concerns, or even your disappointments in the entire pregnancy experience. Your sessions may be done with other pregnant women or they may just be with a licensed counselor, or certified childbirth educator, but either way, you’ll find so much reassurance in knowing that you are not alone. You are not the only person who feels the way you feel, and the way you’re feeling is perfectly normal. Oftentimes, just saying out loud how you feel about something will do wonders for lifting the burden of it.
Helps You Understand Your Changing Body
Some women love the feeling of their bodies’ changing as their babies grow. Other women struggle significantly with the changes their bodies are going through, and that can be very difficult during pregnancy. You know that your body is an amazing vessel of life for your unborn baby, but you also dislike the way you look and feel, and that may feel wrong to you. Rest assured, you are not the only one who has felt that way, and the way you feel is okay. You can work through these thoughts and feeling in a pregnancy counseling session, and in NCHS’ Giving Birth 101 childbirth preparation classes you will get access to some amazing resources that can help you understand and cope with the ways your body is changing. Learning how to deal with your changing body during pregnancy can help you be better prepared to deal with your postpartum body as well.
Can Help with Shifting Identity
For many first-time moms, experiencing a drastic shift in their identity can be overwhelming. Going from being a wife or single woman to now carrying the heavy title of “mom” can be an extreme change that women may need support to be prepared to deal with. It’s common to experience some feelings of loss, such as the loss of your body as you once knew it, or the loss of your freedom and ability to do anything you want at any time. Becoming a mom is incredible in many ways, and sometimes the overwhelming fear of the unknown or the feelings of uncertainty about your new role can be enough to debilitate you and stop you from enjoying all the great things that happen as you become a mom.
Gives You More Realistic Expectations
Sometimes, the fear of the future is far worse than what the future actually holds. Women can be terrified of giving birth or being responsible for another person, but learning about what to expect and getting some tools and resources can take the fear out of it all. Prenatal counselors and our certified childbirth educators will be real with you about what you might expect during labor and delivery, as well as some things you might face when the baby is born. Learning what might happen and how to handle different possibilities are key to managing your expectations and looking to the future with confidence and hope.
Combats Anxiety and Depression
Pregnant women commonly struggle with anxiety and depression, whether they have dealt with it before pregnancy or not. Talking to someone about your thoughts and feelings will help you a great deal to not only understand where they came from, but also to move forward in a positive way and manage any negative feelings that may arise. Anxiety and depression often stem from a prolonged period of time where negative thoughts plagued your mind, and learning how to identify and change those thoughts can be extremely beneficial for your mental and overall health, as well as the health of your baby.
Helps Your Family Understand It All
Spouses sometimes struggle to understand what their partner is experiencing during pregnancy, and other kids can have a hard time comprehending what mommy means when she says she’s having another baby. Prenatal counseling and Childbirth Education can get the whole family involved and help everyone understand what’s happening now and what to expect in the future. To learn more about prenatal counseling, childbirth education or to schedule an appointment, contact NCHS today.