MINDFUL PREGNANCY & PARENTING
and psychology during pregnancy, birth,
and in the transition
Becoming a parent is a time of spiritual & psychological growth.
It is also a time of uncertainty and fear about parenting skills, questioning relationships, balancing career and parenthood, wondering how to be a good parent.
There is a heightened intensity of emotion, which can be triggering for people with abusive pasts. Your feelings about past abuse, rape, abortion, or other significant life events may impact your emotional state.
An important goal for maternal mental health counseling is to help
every woman feel at peace and positive about her birth choices and experiences and the transition to motherhood, whether she chooses to give birth in a hospital or home birth setting.
Women need to know it is okay to ask for help.
Reducing stress during pregnancy
Bonding prenatally with your infant
Preparation for birthing by addressing anxiety and fear
Examining the effects of past sexual abuse on pregnancy & birthing and the development of the maternal identity
Integrating your dream baby & mama with the real baby & mama
Integrating your parent’s parenting practices and creating of your own parenting practices
Identification and treatment of perinatal mood disorders
Dealing with miscarriages and infant loss
Helping Moms & Families
with Maternal Health Issues
Support from Kathy
IT IS POSSIBLE TO LEARN THE PARENTING SKILLS YOU NEED
We live with the myth of the natural mother and natural parent. The truth is that many social behaviors, including parenting, are learned behaviors. Blended into our instinctive feelings for our children, we learn parenting from our family of origin and also from the society at large. Just as healthier communication and relationship skills within a marriage can be learned, so can healthier communication and relationship skills be learned as part of parent-child interaction. Support for you is available and can be helpful, especially if you grew up in a non-communicative home or experienced past abuse.
Together, we can explore ways to help you appreciate unique skill sets you already possess and strengthen areas that you want to nurture and cultivate.
YOUR FUTURE IS
YOURS TO CREATE;
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE DICTATED BY THE PAST
If you grew up in an abusive or just non-communicative home, it is likely that when you marry, you will discover that you need some help in the how-to's of a relationship. It is the same type of thing when becoming a mother/parent. You might need some some help about the how-to of parenting a newborn and developing your identity as a mother/parent. Remember, social learning comes from watching other people in our personal lives and from the larger culture, and we integrate this into our personality. Breastfeeding and helping a baby to sleep are also learned behaviors. Give yourself the gift of qualified education and assistance.
Without blame or judgment, you can safely explore the past and imagine the future.
YOU DESERVE TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR CHOICES
There are many ways to be a good mother and no one size fits all. You can decide to have a natural birth, to safely bed-share, or to breastfeed, if this is the right decision for you. These might be perfect choices for you as an individual, or these decisions may be too difficult for a woman with a history of rape & abuse. You need to look at your individual situation, what your values are, what you can tolerate, and compassionately integrate the competing needs and feelings of yourself and your family. Be kind to yourself. We learn parenting & relationship skills from watching other people, from our lives.
Together, we can explore
how you authentically feel about your own parenting choices and how you can manage possible conflicting opinions from family and friends.
YOUR SENSE OF SELF CHANGES OVER TIME
All women experience pregnancy and childbirth and the adjustment to motherhood differently as each individual has different past experiences and coping skills contributing to her overall emotional and psychological state. So, it can’t be predicted in advance what may may come up for each person during the childbearing year. However, every woman experiences a profound shift in identity. Pregnancy & birth clearly signal an end to a woman’s identity as a girl and a reshuffling of roles and priorities. When your baby is an infant, your role as a mother is in the foreground, yet eventually your identity as a mother is integrated and reshuffled in with your other roles.
When you are facing a barrage of emotions, it can be helpful to identify and validate what you are feeling.