Independent Community Perinatal Support Service

Pregnancy is often a time of great excitement, a journey of mind, body and heart. Yet, may women will experience a myriad of emotions including stress and worry as they navigate the territory of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. Because the body and mind are essentially inseparable, Steve believes that the emotional state of the pregnant woman not only shapes quality of the pregnancy experience, but also influences the childbirth process and foetal development.
 

Steve is passionate about perinatal mental health and well-being. For ten years he led the psychological therapy services at the Eastbourne Clinic mother and baby unit, helping many women and their families negotiate very difficult times. He is a father of two wonderful children, and long before mindfulness and guided visualisation became “de rigueur,” brought his second child into the world using the power of body/mind techniques to assist the birth and promote pain relief.
 

He believes that introducing relaxation, mindfulness and compassionate nurturing to the mother early on in the pregnancy journey, she will have a much better experience and enjoy much greater well-being throughout the process.
 

Nearly all expectant mother’s have some worries about being pregnant, as they anticipate the pregnancy process, giving birth, and parenting. It is entirely normal to worry about our babies’ health, whether we can manage the pain of labour and whether we will be a competent mother. This type of anxiety is perfectly normal, and most of the time does not cause problems or undue panic. But sometimes, anxiety and worry can become overwhelming and very distressing. Such anxiety, if not addressed, can impact on the joy of bringing a wonderful new life into being and can make the whole pregnancy and birth experience both physically and emotionally more difficult.
 

Along with parenthood, major life changes including role and career, disruption to order and routine, together with sleepless nights and changes in relationships, can mean many parents feel isolated, overwhelmed and unable to cope. This emotional upheaval can lead to mood changes and psychological turmoil.
 

Fortunately, there are effective ways to help reduce emotional and mental health difficulties during and after pregnancy. Strategies from relaxation, mindfulness, breath-work  and guided visualisation to massage, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling can all help to manage anxiety and worry, as well as low mood and depression which can often surface at such times. Working with partners or other family members can be helpful in providing understanding and effective support.

 

Common difficulties experienced during pregnancy and the post-partum period.

  • Anxiety during pregnancy, surrounding birth and during the early parenting phase.

  • Panic attacks.

  • Obsessions and compulsions (OCD) including contamination fears, doubting, fear of causing harm, excessive washing, unhelpful thinking, etc.

  • Worry, catastrophic thinking, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and insomnia.

  • Stress, muscle tension, headaches and general aches and pains.

  • Low depressed mood during pregnancy.

  • Emotional insecurity, body image issues.

  • Pain of birth.

  • Difficulty breastfeeding.

  • Inability to bond.

  • Relationship strains and difficulties.

  • Baby blues.

  • Sleep deprivation.

  • Post-natal depression.

  • Post-natal psychosis.

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
     

We offer bespoke therapy tailored to meet your needs

Providing early intervention, low intensity community based services for those with low to moderate level diagnosed mental health issues or who are at risk of developing perinatal mental illness. Our community service is available to women and their families pre-conceptionally, during pregnancy and post birth up to baby’s first birthday.

 

Please contact us to enquire about how we may help you.

 

* Image Wiki Commons