If you have recently discovered that you are expecting a new baby, you likely have a lot on your mind. In addition to setting up that nursery and arranging maternity leave from your job, you might also be concerned about parenting in general, coping with the cost of childbirth, or getting the help you need from your significant other. Fortunately, there is always someone available to listen: a pregnancy counselor. Here are three topics your pregnancy counselor would be more than happy to talk about with you, and how voicing your frustrations could help you to get the help you need.
1. Common Pregnancy Challenges
There is a reason that your friends and family members tell you repeatedly that childbirth will "change your life." As soon as that little one arrives, he or she will impact every aspect of your life, including your job, your relationship, your sleeping habits, and especially your free time. Because the idea of having a baby can be so overwhelming, your pregnancy counselor would be more than happy to talk with you about common pregnancy challenges, including:
- Financial Concerns: Are you wondering about how to pay for your medical care during childbirth or how to finance your maternity leave? Pregnancy counselors can talk with you about the costs involved with having a baby, and help you to find solutions such as financial assistance or applying for a leave of absence from your job.
- Relationship Problems: Sudden pregnancies can cause problems between partners, especially if the pregnancy is unexpected. Talk with your pregnancy counselor about your relationship to get a truly objective take on what your next step should be.
- Career Planning: Children can be expensive, which is why many expectant mothers talk with their pregnancy counselors about their career goals. Your counselor can discuss things like future schooling, career opportunities, and continuing on your life path throughout your pregnancy and post-partum experience.
Before you meet with your pregnancy counselor, take some time to think about what aspects of having a baby scare you the most. Write them down so that you don't forget to address them, and take notes during your counseling session. Also, keep in mind that pregnancy counseling isn't a one-and-done type of service. You can always make another appointment if new issues arise.
2. Your Pregnancy Options
Are you wondering whether you want to have a baby at all? One of the most valuable resources offered by pregnancy counselors is unbiased information regarding keeping your baby or choosing other options. For example, your counselor can talk with you about different adoption agencies, pregnancy termination, or your personal decision to keep your baby.
In addition to giving you great general information about these topics, your pregnancy counselor can also offer suggestions about where to seek treatment, how to work with adoption agencies, or talking with friends and family members about your decision. Remember, having a baby is ultimately up to you—and pregnancy counselors are there to make shaping your future less stressful.
3. Pregnancy and Mental Health
A staggering 14-23% of all pregnant women struggle with some form of depression during or after pregnancy, which means that close to one in five mothers you know understand what you might be going through. Pregnancy-related depression is commonly caused by stark hormonal changes that occur during and after pregnancy—changes that can affect your ability to work, enjoy your free time, and even care for your newborn.
Fortunately, pregnancy counselors are there to listen and help. In addition to talking with you about your worries, pregnancy counselors can help to put you in touch with physicians who specialize in the treatment of pregnancy-related depression, or even help you to find free coverage for things like in-patient therapy.
By taking the time to meet with a pregnancy counselor, like those at All Women's Clinic, you can gain access to great resources, vent your frustrations, and learn more about how to cope with a truly life-changing event.