Men and women can struggle with pregnancy, birth, bringing a baby home and the period following this. They can report feeling very alone in their suffering and distress, and self-conscious about thinking some of the thoughts they do (e.g. “I do not like being pregnant”).
Here are a few examples of things some men and women say they wish they knew:
- Some women do not find pregnancy easy and worry about their post-baby body
- Some women fear and/or dread the birth of their baby whether by vaginal delivery or caesarean section
- Some men and women fear they do not have the capacity to cope with the demands of a baby
- Some worry about the negative impact on the relationship with their significant other once baby is home
- Some worry they will not love their baby enough or be able to be a good parent
Woman and men have their own unique emotional journey through the pre, peri and post-natal period and while many have a positive, seemingly easy time throughout, there are certainly quite a number who do not. There can be a great relief in finding professional, confidential support to discuss your worries, especially if it is hard to open-up to friends and family.
There is no need to feel embarrassed if you are having a more negative experience with pregnancy, childbirth or parenthood. However, it is worthwhile remembering negative thoughts and feelings left unchecked may increase your risk of developing depression and anxiety during this period. A psychologist can assess your mental health, help you to see there is always another side to the story and teach you strategies to manage unhelpful thinking patterns.
If you are concerned about your mental health at any stage of the pre and post-natal period find more information at:
Sane Australia, Perinatal Mental Health
Beyond Blue Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
Or see the psychologist at Eve Health, Lucy Kennedy
Blog post by Lucy Kennedy