Perinatal counseling refers to the counseling of women during pregnancy and the first postpartum year. There are several reasons why pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding could be traumatic. Some of these reasons include:
- A history of childhood abuse; especially sexual abuse,
- Previous traumatic birth experiences,
- Hormonal changes during and after pregnancy,
- A miscarriage or stillbirth.
Melissa also works with mothers, assisting them as they deal with issues related to pregnancy, birth and mothering. After having given birth, some mothers are rarely asked about their birth experiences. A traumatic pregnancy or birth can negatively affect mothering skills, as well as subsequent pregnancies and births. Melissa helps women process issues in order to:
- resolve early traumas that affect how they trust their bodies,
- be at peace with a previous birth experience,
- prepare for an upcoming birth,
- and become more effective mothers
Birth is messy and most mothers are able to look back at their child’s birth with contentment. However, some births are more traumatic than others. The impact of an unresolved difficult birth can result in:
- An increased risk of postpartum depression,
- Anxiety and emotional difficulty with breastfeeding,
- Difficulty bonding with the newborn, and most frequently,
- Emotional difficulty with subsequent pregnancies and births.
Melissa assists women deal with difficult pregnancies, traumatic birth experiences, and challenging transitions to motherhood. She also assists women emotionally prepare for childbirth and motherhood. Melissa can also help women working through issues regarding an upcoming adoption.