Have you recently discovered that you're pregnant? If you haven't been planning to conceive, you might be feeling confused or worried. Fortunately, pregnancy counseling may be able to give you the help you need to not only decide whether to keep the child, but also ensure that you remain healthy and happy no matter what choice you make.
Make Decisions In A Calm, Safe Environment
For many most women, an unintended pregnancy presents a complex and serious problem. Often the situation can be overwhelming and even frightening if a woman doesn't feel she's ready to bring a child into the world. However, deciding whether or not to continue the pregnancy can be difficult when your head is spinning. In some cases, a chaotic home life can also add to the confusion and pressure pregnant women feel.
In contrast, a pregnancy counselor's office is an oasis. Pregnant women can come and talk to the counselor in a calm, unhurried, and orderly environment. Counselors are trained to help women in distress collect their thoughts and consider their options with a clear head. Throughout the sessions, a good counselor helps empower women to make decisions about whether to continue the pregnancy, whether to keep the child, and where to go from the present situation.
Get Access To Helpful Materials
One of the reasons first-time mothers and women with unplanned pregnancies can feel so overwhelmed is the lack of knowledge surrounding family planning options after conception. Fortunately, pregnancy counselors are well equipped to alleviate any confusion.
For example, in the case on an unwanted pregnancy, counselors can provide informational materials about termination options as well as instructions for putting the baby up for adoption after it is born. Potential mothers are able to peruse this information and ask questions before they decide which option to choose. Once the choice is made, the pregnancy counselor can help refer women to the appropriate agency and give them an idea of the process to come.
If, on the other hand, the mother decides to keep the child, then the pregnancy counselor can help her find a good doctor and can provide her with tips on how to stay healthy while pregnant, how to reduce stress, how to keep work and home balanced throughout the pregnancy, and how to access important resources for pregnant women, such as WIC benefits.
Catch Depression The Moment It Appears
One of the biggest reasons for pregnant women and women who have recently been pregnant to schedule regular counseling visits is the risk of developing serious pre- or post-partum depression. Some periods of depression are normal throughout pregnancy due to the physical stress of the condition, the emotional stress, and the ever-shifting hormones that can alter the chemical balance of the brain.
A skilled pregnancy counselor can help women prepare for short periods of depression by building healthy habits and developing preemptive coping strategies to survive depression. In most cases, depression will only linger for a day or two before passing away again, and the most important thing is to build skills that keep it from derailing your life while it's there.
In some cases, however, depression lingers too long or becomes too serious. In this situation, a counselor should be able to spot the warning signs of serious depression and refer women to a qualified psychiatric professional for treatment. If caught early, pre- and post-partum depression can be treated and will pose less risk to both the mother and her child than if the condition goes undetected.
Don't let pregnancy catch you off guard. Whether you planned to conceive or not, you don't have to feel confused or lost. Talk to a pregnancy counselor today about your options, and get back on the path to a healthy life.