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About Perinatal Psychology - Blogs
About Perinatal Psychology - Blogs

Video: About Perinatal Psychology - Blogs

Video: About Perinatal Psychology - Blogs
Video: Perinatal Mental Health Quick Guide for Health Professionals 2023, April

The idea that an unborn child needs a psychologist may seem absurd. In general, it is. But the fact that the expectant mother needs a psychologist raises much less doubt. And if the mother benefits, then the unborn child benefits? Let's try to figure it out

Perinatal psychology: what is it?

10 years ago, I would have started this article by explaining who a psychologist is and why he is needed. Fortunately, now every preschooler can explain that a psychologist is a person who helps people in difficult situations. And while pregnancy is not necessarily a difficult situation, it is special - for sure. That there is only one detail: this is the only period when a woman is happy that her belly is growing!

Perinatal psychology is the field of clinical psychology, developmental psychology, as well as perinatology, the science of the mental and psychological life of the unborn and newly born child, the circumstances and patterns of development during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period (week after childbirth), as well as their impact on the subsequent development of the child.

Why a psychologist if everything is fine

Women have been carrying and giving birth for centuries without any psychological support. But before, there were no smartphones either, they washed environmentally in the river, it was useful to give birth in the fresh air - and nothing, survived. The quality of human life is fortunately improving - both in technology and in services.

The time of intrauterine development for future life is like a foundation at home. He will be as strong as the expectant mother feels. Wellness consists of physical health and psychological well-being.

Let's say you have a friend, Ksenia, who is doing just fine. She is about 26 years old, she managed to graduate from the university and start her career. She has a well-earning husband, an apartment, a car and enough money for the best stroller for the baby. Her pregnancy is desirable and proceeding favorably: all tests and indicators are normal. Ksenia continues to work actively, and sometimes also plays ping-pong. She is in high spirits, looks to the future with optimism, reads books on the care and upbringing of children. Does she need a psychologist?

The answer is - you need it. Why, if all is well? We will reveal the answer through the functions that the psychologist who works with the expectant mother performs.

1. To know more

For example, Xenia can learn that fears and anxieties are normal - and how to deal with them. The fact that small stressful situations - such as conflicts at work or quarrels with your husband - are inevitable and do not pose a threat to the child's development. That childbirth with a husband is no worse and no better than childbirth without a husband. The more information Xenia has, the more calm she will be.

2. Get diagnosed

The perception of pregnancy affects not only mood, but also how a woman physically feels and how well the birth will be.

For example, an increased joyful (euphoric) perception of pregnancy can prevent you from noticing alarm bells in your well-being. And the anxious influences the perception of the normal as pathological.

3. Avoid problems

For example, in the classroom or in individual work with a psychologist, Ksenia can express some of her concerns. For example: "It scares me that I might not love the baby."

About perinatal psychology
About perinatal psychology

And Ksenia learns that her fears are normal and visit many. That they are connected with the moment of transition and preparation, and not with a bad character. And you can discuss how to help yourself. The problem does not grow inside, but is resolved in time, while it is still very small.

4. Help in communication

Expectant mothers often have difficulties in communicating with others. For example, Ksenia may, for some reason, believe that if she is pregnant, then, say, “everyone owes her”. And this rake will regularly and unpleasantly make itself felt. Pregnancy is the time to deal with expectations from others (especially from a partner).

Sometimes the pictures of the spouses do not coincide so much that it becomes clear that if this is not made out now, problems cannot be avoided. Therefore, in order to clarify and agree, Ksenia can invite her husband to work together, which is always very cool.

5. Crisis assistance

Unfortunately, while the pregnancy lasts, no one is immune from all sorts of unpleasant events. They may not be related to future motherhood, for example, a fire, the dismissal of a husband from work, the death of an important person. And they may also be connected - the news about the pathology of the fetus, the deterioration of their own health, the need to go to the hospital.

In this case, the psychologist can provide crisis assistance. Empathy, support, the ability to freely express your fears and pains are very important. In the course of this work, tension is reduced, a plan for what can be done appears, a more positive outlook on the situation. At this moment, working with a psychologist is a must-have.

6. Preparation for childbirth

In classes devoted to this topic, Ksenia can learn that childbirth has several stages, how exactly they proceed. What relaxation techniques can you use? How to communicate with medical staff, how to avoid screaming and reduce pain.

They will talk to Ksenia about how a newborn looks like - and this is not a pink advertising baby doll at all. And then Xenia will not be shocked by reality when she first looks at the baby.

What if there are problems?

We examined the situation of a healthy woman in a favorable life situation, and even she is shown working with a psychologist during pregnancy. What can we say about situations when pregnancy is unwanted or accompanied by problems in relationships with a partner. Or it is accompanied by difficulties with health. What if a woman is prone to fear and anxiety? Of course, in these cases, the accompaniment of a psychologist is more than desirable.

Alone or in a group?

Work with a psychologist can be group and individual. Group sessions are usually scheduled according to topics: fears, relationships with a partner, body changes, nesting, etc. The psychologist provides theoretical information, offers to perform exercises (for example, on the ability to trust or on positive visualization), gives the participants time to discuss … With this format, every woman feels the support of the group, which has a beneficial effect.

With an individual approach, a format is chosen that is convenient for the client. This tends to be a clearer emphasis on her personality and the uniqueness of her situation. You can work both personally and with the help of Internet communicators. Sometimes the expectant mother invites not a partner to childbirth, but a psychologist (doula), but you need to find out about this opportunity right away.

Will we teach the baby in the belly?

Approximately 15–20 years ago, the ideas of prenatal education were extremely popular. Have you all seen these photos, where the expectant mother lies with headphones on her stomach? What they tried to teach! Languages, subtle perception of music, scientific knowledge. For now, thankfully, this mod is a thing of the past.

About perinatal psychology
About perinatal psychology

There is no evidence that babies who were turned on while they were in their belly became more successful or just smarter. Their brains are simply not ready to receive complex information, so what headphones give are just vibrations that can generate interest or anxiety.

The recommendation is this: if you see or hear this phrase: "Children in the womb are geniuses, they have the highest level of communication and learning abilities in life," know that there is a charlatan lurking somewhere

The mother can contribute to the development of the child to the extent that she herself naturally lives. It is considered useful to stroke the abdomen, relax with an attempt to catch sensations (jolts) and have a pleasant pastime: books, films, music, walks, handicrafts, viewing photos and much more, which sets you up for a calm positive mood. Mom is calm - her resources are not spent on overcoming anxiety - she has more strength and well-being - the child has a better start for development.

Where did I go?

Sometimes the question arises whether you are working with a professional or an amateur. A professional gives more information, teaches self-help and relaxation techniques, is individual-oriented (even when working in a group), can give recommendations, but does not insist on them. The professional is correct, indicates the options, but the choice is up to the woman herself. For example, in the question to work or not to work during pregnancy, to be in childbirth with her husband or alone.

A dangerous situation can arise if you feel that you are being persuaded to do something. For example, they somehow lead to the idea that giving birth to water or at home is the only correct option. Or if the father is not at birth, then he will not be able to establish contact with the child. Or if the baby is not immediately attached to the mother's breast, then he will not have contact with the mother either. There are a great many myths, and if something seems suspicious to you, it is better to take a closer look.

To go or not to go?

As a psychologist who has been working on childbirth preparation courses for several years, my answer is to go. And benefit, and entertainment, and communication, and if necessary, a quick response to a problem situation. As the saying goes, "he who is forewarned is armed."

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