Clinical and Counselling Support
Perinatal (pregnancy and postpartum) anxiety and depression support
There is no right way to feel when pregnant or after the birth of your baby. Everyone’s experience is a little bit different. But, just like we can predict how you might feel physically at different stages, we can also anticipate certain emotional changes. Some changes in mood or feelings of anxiety are normal. But some people develop anxiety or mood issues that really interfere with their life or how they feel about the baby.
At least 1 in every 5 people will experience a clinical anxiety or depression while pregnant or after their baby has been born (this is known as perinatal anxiety and depression). Non carrying partners can also experience this type of psychological distress.
Perinatal anxiety and depression are serious illnesses but there are treatments and support to help you through. Narelle has over 20 years experience working with pregnant people and new parents and can help you identify if those normal “ups and downs“ have become something more problematic. If they have, she can help you get well again, so you can get on with the important job of being a parent.
Pre-conception and fertility support
Often when we talk about pre-conception counselling, we are referring to the physical considerations of preparing for pregnancy. But time to consider psychological and emotional readiness for pregnancy and parenthood can be just as important. Do any of the questions below relate to you? Narelle can work with you to help gain clarity over how you feel and what you need prior to getting pregnant.
- Do you need time and space to discuss the kinds of changes your will experience during pregnancy – physically and emotionally ?
- Do you need help help to consider how you might need to prepare your self at work for a new balance of your roles?
- Would you like the opportunity to discuss how your relationship with your partner, family or friends may be impacted by having children?
- Are you planning to become a solo parent, and need a place to discuss the particular issues for you to consider?
- Do you need to use donor or surrogate? You may need to explore how it would feel to parent a child when there will be no biological relationship/you have not carried the pregnancy yourself.
- Do you have physical or psychological conditions which might be impacted by pregnancy or parenting?
- Do you need time to talk about the adjustments you will need to parent successfully?
- Do you have anxiety about needles, blood or medical procedures and need to learn to manage these before trying to become pregnant?
- Have you experienced sexual dysfunctions/disorders such as vaginismus or dyspareunia which are likely to impact you success at conceiving naturally?
- Do you feel ambivalent about having a(nother) child? Would it help to have someone to discuss your reservations or concerns?
- Are you eager to have a child but your partner is not so sure? Would it help to have a place where the 2 of you can discuss your differing desire to become parents/expand your family?
The emotional experiences and needs of any person after the loss of a pregnancy are often intense and complex. Narelle understands the complex experience of grieving a pregnancy – through miscarriage, still birth or neonatal loss. She can help you to:
- Find ways to grieve your baby,
- Develop effective self-care strategies,
- Find ways to build the support you need from your network
- make decisions re future efforts to become pregnant and
- Understand the different responses your partner may have about the loss.
“There is no right way to grieve; there is only your way to grieve and that is different for everyone.”
Pregnancy after Loss/Infertility
It might seem strange, but sometimes one of the hardest parts of pregnancy loss is getting pregnant again. You may be feeling isolated by the fear about what will happen in this next pregnancy – instead of feeling happy and enjoying the pregnancy you might be feel paralysed by “what if’s”. Narelle understands this experience, and how it feels to be pregnant after infertility or previous loss, and she can help you to get through, enjoy your pregnancy, and connect to this new baby.
Termination for Medical Diagnosis
Terminating your much wanted baby for medical reasons is truely heartbreaking. The loss of a wanted baby due to termination carries a grief which is often stigmatised or invalidated, and it can be hard to find support from people who know how to help. Narelle has been supporting parents who have had to make this impossible decision for over 20 years. She understands the tests and scans that you may need to have and she knows how to support you as you make those difficult decisions and process the grief that will follow. She can be there to guide you through – for as long as you need.
“Some people say it is a shame. Others even imply that it would have been better if the baby had never been created. But the short time I had with my child is precious to me.”
CHRISTINE O’KEEFFE LAFSER
Neurodevelopmental Care (Possums) Support
Narelle is proud to part of the growing team of specialised NDC accredited providers who offer evidence-based programs for mothers and babies, in order to protect the secure psychological attachment, neurodevelopment, and immune and gut health of infants.The Possums programs are known in the research literature as Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC). We believe NDC offers the best available protection for your baby’s developing gut, brain, and healthy emotional attachment.
Transition to Parenthood
Some people struggle to make the transition into pregnancy or parenthood, especially after previous pregnancy loss or infertility. Narelle can work with you to negotiate the path to parenthood and process the complex emotions and adjustments that are necessary to find out who the “new you” will be as a parent. Examples of the type of issues that they may be addressed are:Some people struggle to make the transition into pregnancy or parenthood, especially after previous pregnancy loss or infertility. Narelle can work with you to negotiate the path to parenthood and process the complex emotions and adjustments that are necessary to find out who the “new you” will be as a parent. Examples of the type of issues that they may be addressed are:
- Dealing with the conflicting emotions in the early stages after you first learn of the pregnancy (e.g. joy and excitement, disbelief and ambivalence, apprehension and fear, “infertile” now pregnant)
- role transitions and managing/adjusting to the different demands and experiences of the different roles (e.g. career to parent, financial dependence, grief for past losses and joy for the new pregnancy, no longer attending a fertility clinic)
- relationship issues that may arise
- concerns about the future ability to parent
- If single, implications of solo parenting
- If a donor has been used, the implications of using a donor may only really sink in once a pregnancy has been confined or the baby has been born.
Narelle has spent her career specialising in the area of perinatal care but is also available to provide care in the areas of depression, anxiety, adjustment to chronic health conditions or chronic pain, and grief and loss.
All services can be provided by telehealth if required. Please check our Fees and Rebates section find out if rebates are applicable.