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Counselling for pregnant women

July 3, 2024

A woman's body and mind undergo many changes during pregnancy. While physical changes and challenges are widely discussed, mental health issues and other challenges of pregnancy are not. Many times, such issues are either ignored or neglected.

Book an online appointment with Dr. Poorinma M. Gowda for Pregnancy & Gynecology related issues.

Pregnant Women Counselling – Is it Necessary?

For generations, pregnancy has been projected as natural, easy and doable by all women. On the contrary, pregnancy is a long journey, and every pregnancy has unique challenges. When it comes to pregnancy, one has to consider the physical aspect, mental health, financial readiness, parenting style, health issues – for both mother and baby, anxiety and traditional practices.

Many women are unable to discuss their fears and doubts regarding pregnancy freely. They fear being judged and can also feel uncomfortable expressing their deepest fears or insecurities. Counselling for pregnant women by professionals can help each of them find a solution that suits them individually. Counselling during pregnancy may not be a “need” for all, but can benefit each of them. It can benefit both the parents and the children.

Pregnant Women Counselling – Is it Safe?

Yes, it is safe to seek counselling from a well-trusted professional source. However, seeking counselling from experienced women, people who learn their information from the internet, or those who think they know best may not be safe as they are not always accurate. Seek counselling from professionally trained personnel.

Counselling During Pregnancy – What to Look for?

If you are seeking counselling during your pregnancy, here are some important points to consider:

● Professionally Qualified

Always go to a professionally qualified counsellor. You can not ask counsellors to show you their certificates. Go through a recommended institute or hospital. The doctors and the hospital team can recommend counsellors who are either part of their team, have tie-ups, or have helped patients in the past.

● Recommendations/Reviews

Preferably, go by recommendations of trusted sources. Once you narrow down your list of counsellors, check their reviews. Different people have different expectations and ways of expressing. Check if this counsellor is the type of person you are looking for. Some counsellors may be good in certain areas. Check if their expertise suits your needs.

● Empathy & Compassion

A good counsellor should show empathy towards their patients. They may not have experience being in your position but should show compassion towards your unique situation. They should be compassionate when advising you. This can make you feel heard and be very reassuring, too.

● Aligned Thoughts

Different people have different thoughts regarding pregnancy and parenthood. The views about the role of a mother and father, how the parents should take care of the child and parenting methodologies can vary drastically from person to person. Find a counsellor whose thoughts or ideas align with yours. You may not get your answers or clarity if the views are very different. On the contrary, you may feel more confused or vulnerable when you realise someone does not empathise with your views.

● Not Intimidating

Ensure the counsellor is not intimidating. Meet the counsellor once to understand how comfortable you feel with them or in their presence. Some counsellors can mean well, but the information they give can scare a pregnant woman. Always choose a counsellor who can give you the information as information and not as a warning or threat. The idea behind counselling is to know more about different aspects of pregnancy and not to fear the outcomes.

The Need for Counselling in Pregnancy

So, what areas will you need counselling in during your pregnancy? It is not just the fears and doubts, pregnancy has many more venues where professional guidance can be very useful.

Some areas of counselling for pregnant women are:

● Food & Nutrition

It is very important to follow a nutritious diet during pregnancy. A nutritionist can help you understand the need for a healthy diet and provide a diet plan according to your needs and preferences.

● Birth Plans

A woman can give birth in many ways. A counsellor can help you understand the various options available, as well as the pros and cons of each, and help you identify what method might suit you the best. Many such counsellors can even recommend birthing centres that offer what you seek.

● Postnatal Care

The journey after pregnancy is as important as the pregnancy journey itself. After the delivery, caring for both the baby and the new mother is important. The mother's physical and mental health, complications during delivery, and the way her body recovers can all vary from woman to woman. A counsellor can help you understand how to care for a new mother and baby.

● Breastfeeding

Yes, breastfeeding is one of the most natural steps for a new mother, but it can be very challenging. It is important to understand the right ways to breastfeed, the multiple options available and how to care for one's body during the breastfeeding journey. These counsellors can also help you identify alternatives to breastfeeding if you are unable to breastfeed for various reasons. Counselling can help you handle the uncertainties of this critical phase without shame or self-doubt.

● Mental Health

One of the most important aspects of pregnancy is the mother's mental health. Both during and after pregnancy, a woman's mental health may need some help and guidance. Postpartum depression is a phrase everyone is familiar with but doesn't know how to handle. Society and social media can be quick to criticise a new mother who is already vulnerable and going through mood swings due to hormonal imbalance. Professional counselling can help new mothers handle this phase successfully.

Also Read: The Vital Role of Psychological Support in Pregnancy


Counselling, contrary to popular belief, is not “unnecessary”. Counselling, especially during pregnancy, is a safe way to clarify one's doubts and avoid following myths without understanding the reasons for the same. If you are pregnant and have doubts or fears, please seek professional help to guide you – just like you seek medical guidance from your gynaecologist.


1. Can you have counselling while pregnant?

Yes, you can seek professional counselling for pregnancy if you have doubts or fears regarding your pregnancy. These counsellors are qualified and professionally trained to handle your uncertainties with scientifically backed methods and empathy.

2. What is the advice for pregnant women?

General advice for pregnant women is to listen to their bodies. If they don't feel comfortable doing something, they should avoid it unless it is medically advised. Anytime they are worried about the pregnancy or their future as a mother, they should seek professional help who can guide them rather than “convince” them.

3. What major points should I include while counselling a pregnant patient?

When counselling a pregnant patient, please be mindful of their insecurities and fear of what is to come. Issues may seem common to you, but to them, it is personal and can be their first time. Express empathy and compassion, as they could be going through a lot of stress and emotional turmoil.

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