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City Pregnancy
Counselling & Psychotherapy
A safe space to discuss pregnancy, pregnancy-loss and related issues, in the heart of the City of London
Crisis Pregnancy Help

Good mental health and early intervention in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a major life event. Even when a pregnancy is planned and very much wished for, when it does happen, to the expectant parents it can feel like the beginning of a chain reaction, a series of events over which they have little or no control. Commonly, a woman may perceive that her relationship to herself, her partner, her family members, colleagues and wider society changes, and indeed, the physical changes taking place often necessitate certain lifestyle changes which may prove difficult. Perhaps she has experienced a traumatic birth in the past and as a result has elevated levels of anxiety about her current pregnancy. The father too may experience similar feelings. Then there are the normal worries that any expectant parent has; can I cope financially? Will my career suffer? Will my child be healthy and what will I do if he or she is not? Will I live up to my own expectations of being a parent?  Which of the many conflicting pieces of advice I am being given is correct? On top of all of this, a woman will often experience an emotional rollercoaster caused by the changes in hormones that occur over the duration of a pregnancy.

All this can feel stressful, confusing and even overwhelming. This is particularly so where a person has an idealised perception of pregnancy and parenthood but is experiencing thoughts and feelings that are at odds with that ideal. If that person feels unable to express their concerns then anxiety and even depression can result.

At such a time it can be helpful to find a safe and confidential space with someone to listen to you and discuss your concerns with you and to enable you, or you and your partner together, to process these seemingly overwhelming emotions. At CPCP, this is what we do best – we provide the space and time with a trained professional for expectant parents to make sense of emotions and thought patterns, and to help them develop an understanding of their individual experience.

For some women, or their partners, pregnancy can trigger deeper psychological reactions linked to their past experiences, for example, their own experience of being parented or unresolved previous pregnancy losses. Again, CPCP is able to identify and then help clients work through such issues.

In all cases, whether clients need to discuss concerns common to all parents or whether deeper and more complex psychological issues are involved, CPCP’s aim is twofold: to support the mental health of the mother and / or father and by reducing parental stress and working through any difficulties before the birth of the child, give it and the parent-child relationship the best possible start in life. This is known as “Early Intervention “, a technical term for the common sense proposition that it is better to identify problems early, and to intervene to prevent their escalation, than wait until the problem has become so acute so as to demand action. CPCP believes that the need for Early Intervention in pregnancy is particularly pressing, as not only is it important for the health of the mother and / or father, but their good mental health is also key to the wellbeing of the whole family and contributes to the healthy transition of welcoming a new member to the community. This fact is also recognised by the World Health Organisation: "Women's mental health requires special considerations in view of women's greater likelihood of suffering from depression and anxiety disorders and the impact of maternal mental health problems on childbearing and childrearing too." (WHO, Maternal Health and Child Health and Development, March 2008).

CPCP is committed to providing support to its clients both during and immediately after pregnancy.

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