By Jo Ford
There may be some dark days during your pregnancy, times where you need someone to talk to; a stranger that doesn’t know you like a friend of relative does.
You may want to simply talk, think aloud, have a cry. A trained counsellor or therapist will listen to you without judgement. You don’t have to talk just about your pregnancy; they are happy to hear about any feelings that you are experiencing and help you to try and feel better. It is never a good idea to hide your feelings or suffer in silence.
Many women feel ashamed or guilty about feeling low or dwelling on negative thoughts during their pregnancy because they feel that it should be such a joyous time. Mental health problems can arise at any time during life (especially at a time when your hormones are going crazy) and it does in no way mean that you are going to be a bad mum. Your emotional wellbeing can easily be overlooked, as all of the focus is directed on your growing bump.“I had not really planned a pregnancy. In my head, I had a fixed idea of how I wanted my life to pan out. Falling pregnant in my mid 20’s was not part of the big picture even though I was with a long term partner.
I had a colleague at work that had been going through IVF and that made me feel terrible. How could I be so ungrateful? After struggling for a few weeks, I made an appointment with my GP.
He suggested I talk to a counsellor. At first, I was a bit reluctant but after I made that first appointment, I did not look back. Being able to talk freely in such a safe space was incredibly helpful.”
Rebecca T, 27 weeks
Usually you have a face-to-face talk with a therapist, although there are now more consultations taking place on the phone and via the internet. If you do feel that you would like some extra support, then talk to your midwife or GP about how you feel.
If you don’t have any friends that are pregnant then why not think of joining a local pregnancy-specific class? A good way of finding out what is available is to ask what others recommend on social media platforms. Meeting other pregnant mums-to-be means that you can talk about your feelings to other women experiencing their journey into motherhood. And, you never know, you just might meet a friend for life!
Jo Ford is the co-author of Pregnancy Wellbeing. For current tips and tricks on all things pregnancy and post natal follow @pregnancywellbeing on Instagram and Facebook.