PRE-CONCEPTION & PREGNANCY
Do you want to start a family?
Are you pregnant or having challenges getting pregnant?
Are you struggling with an unplanned pregnancy?
Conceiving, being pregnant, and bringing a baby home are each unique developmental stages that often get clumped together when we think of having a baby. But in reality, each stage requires different skills and tasks from a single parent, or from both parents.
We want to help you at every or any stage of starting your family. From fertility challenges, to pregnancies, to unwanted pregnancies--we are here to support you. We are a refreshingly judgement-free safe zone, in a time in your life when everyone seems to have an opinion. We've heard and seen it all-- we have experience working with a broad spectrum of diverse clients with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and ability.
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COUNSELING FOR THE PRECONCEPTION STAGE
For many couples, the process of conceiving is anything but simple. Trying to get pregnant, fertility challenges, and fertility treatment can take quite a toll on both partners’ mental wellbeing, as well as your romantic relationship.
We want to help you feel more connected to yourself and/or your partner, while getting the support you need during what can be a very overwhelming time.
Common reasons to schedule a Pre-Conception Therapy session:
If you and your partner want to mindfully plan for pregnancy and having a baby
If you and your partner want to get on the same page regarding your plan for your family, how many kids you want, or vision for your future
Not knowing if you should wait for marital challenges to improve before trying to conceive
If you are finding the process of getting pregnant or fertility concerns overwhelming
Loss of sexual interest or other challenges regarding sexual performance during the period of conception
COUNSELING FOR PREGNANCY
Before you were pregnant, you might have been generally familiar with the term “baby blues,” and maybe you have even heard of “paternal postnatal depression.” But in reality, pregnancy and the postpartum stage can bring about a variety of mental health and lifestyle issues-- for both parents.
Many parents we work with are surprised and scared when they do not feel excitement or joy about having a baby. Society tells us that this is supposed to be one of the happiest times in our life, but the truth is that becoming and being a parent is damn hard, and can lead to feelings of overwhelm, worry, or regret. This is especially true if your pregnancy was unplanned.
It is normal for pregnancy and postpartum stages to bring with it anxiety, insomnia, irritability, marital problems, and depression. And for women, body image concerns, as well as frustration with the physical limitations that accompany pregnancy are very common.
In fact, research on maternal health indicates that up to one in seven women will develop a mental health disorder during pregnancy or postpartum. And research on paternal postnatal depression (PPND) shows depression in new dads increased 68 percent during the first five years after having kids.
It is important for you to know that you are not alone, and that these issues are very treatable. Lets get to it, so you can get back to feeling connected to yourself, your partner, and your baby on the way.
We want to work with you to navigate this new process, and help you both learn how to stress less and be more content and joyful in your new family structure.
We take a dual-layered approach:
Skills. This portion of the work is practical and tangible. We work on skills of non-violent communication, problem-solving, connection building, and follow through. Often, these skills are applied directly to fertility and pregnancy planning, apartment or house hunting, and expectations for how involved (or not involved) you want your partner, your family, and your partner's family to be.
Getting clear on how you operate as a team is crucial because balancing your needs as individuals, a couple, and as a family is so much easier when there is a strong foundation of communication and clear expectations.
We might spend a little time or a lot of time in this area, depending on your unique needs as a couple. This portion of our work together will involve making lists and plans, and often some homework to take with you into your week to practice before our next session.
Styles of relating. All our expert therapists are trained in Gottman Method of couples counseling, and through that system's data-driven approach, we will help you disentangle your old styles of relating from what is going in in your present partnership.
When toxic dynamics are at play, we get in too deep and lose our perspective and ability to notice them. We want to help you both get on the same page in recognizing how old dynamics might not be best serving you as a couple.
Once we establish the relationship patterns that are keeping you stuck, we will work together to understand why it is happening, and how to create new, more positive and productive methods of relating that is focused on generosity and understanding.
This is an especially useful tool to cultivate now-- before you are deep in parenting, and one that you will return to for years to come. We want to help you establish positive patterns early!
Online therapy sessions are also available to make mental health treatment accessible and sustainable, especially when you are fatigued and achy in the pre-conception and pregnancy stages.