How was your birth? Is this a question that evokes sadness, anxiety or distress as the traumatic events in either your pregnancy or birth come flooding back?
With 1 in 6 mothers reporting postnatal depression symptoms and one in three women reporting traumatic birth or a distressing event in pregnancy, it is not surprising that these women can feel teary, unmotivated and/or experience persistent negative emotions. When these feelings continue beyond a few weeks a woman can become overwhelmed and unable to see her way through the problems, and may even feel suicidal.
Attempts to discuss ongoing feelings of distress even with health professionals are frequently met with platitudes of “Time will heal…” or “at least you have a healthy baby!”, mostly because birth is celebrated and seen as a healthy normal event irrespective of the woman’s experience. This can leave the woman feeling very alone.
Motherhood comes with it’s own challenges and can be a rigorous testing ground of a woman’s resilience, her belief in herself and her ability to strategise and cope. When you add health problems, intimacy issues, financial stress, low social support and having more than one small child to care for, how does a woman move forward?
Talking with a specially trained counsellor can provide effective strategies to help you rise to the challenges of your growing family and repair the emotional damage of traumatic events in your pregnancy and birth.
Effective strategies include:
- looking at ways of coping
- time management
- ways to increase social support
- effective interpersonal communication
- self -care
- health management
- parenting tips
Julie Fickel is Christian Counsellor with expertise in women’s health and reproductive issues, particularly postnatal depression, anxiety, birth trauma, menopause, and early parenting support.
As a midwife Julie is well placed to sensitively explore your unique story, helping you along the way to connect events to emotions and fill in missing pieces. This helps you to understand what happened, how it could be different next time and create meaning in your experience.
NB Julie Fickel’s books are closed, however we suggest that if you are looking for a caring Christian female counsellor, that you book with Sharyn Jones, instead.