When should you talk to a perinatal psychologist?

Posted in: Birth trauma, Couple relationship, Fathers, Parenting, Postpartum, Pregnancy

By Dr Bronwyn Leigh

A perinatal psychologist works with families during the perinatal period – before and after birth.  At the Centre for Perinatal Psychology, we see people for:

  • Planning
  • Pregnancy
  • Postpartum
  • Parenting

The reasons for seeking help during these times are broad, but include feeling anxious, depressed, having difficulty conceiving, losing a baby, having a sickly infant, not feeling bonded and not enjoying parenthood.

But how would you know if seeing a psychologist during these times would be helpful? It can be hard to know for sure, as there are so many factors that are changing at this time.  When women and men struggle during pregnancy or after having a baby, it is hard to know how much to attribute to biology, how much to changing circumstances and whether there is something more serious going on that warrants professional treatment.  And what’s normal anyway?  First time parents don’t have a benchmark to measure against and it can be hard to tease out whether what you are feeling is simply adjustment to a new life or something more serious.

So here’s one key deciding factor in whether you seek help: if you are distressed by your situation and your distress doesn’t resolve within a couple of weeks, then that is probably a good sign to seek help.

A perinatal psychologist can help if:

  • You feel distressed
  • You feel you are not coping
  • You want more support
  • Things are not improving on their own

Remember, you are not alone.  It is very common to feel wobbly during this life phase, at least at times.  At the Centre for Perinatal Psychology, we are used to seeing men, women and infants with a range of concerns.  We help stabalise you so you are less wobbly in yourself and in your parenting.

We are interested in supporting parents so they can enjoy parenthood and do the best they can to support their infant’s development.

About the Author

Dr Bronwyn Leigh is a clinical psychologist, perinatal and infant clinician and early parenting consultant.  She is Director of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology.  Bronwyn specialises in the psychological aspects of becoming a parent, the emotional development of infants, and parent-infant relationships.

Contact us Today

Find a psychologist near you that can help you throughout the perinatal period.  You can search by Location and Book Online.

Call us on 1300 852 660 or contact us to make an appointment or enquiry.