Preparing for Parenthood: Why Counselling for Expectant Parents Matters

Being pregnant can be an exciting but also kind of scary time for couples. Nowadays, we have a lot of information available about pregnancy and parenting, but it can still be overwhelming. Amidst the excitement and anxiety, counselling for expectant parents emerges as a crucial resource, offering couples the opportunity to delve into their emotional odyssey, foster deeper connections, and understand how to be supportive partners in the marriage and family life journey. 

Here’s what you can expect from counselling for expectant parents: 

Understanding the Changes: Pregnancy brings both physical and emotional changes. Counselling helps you make sense of these changes, like how hormones can affect mom’s mood. This awareness helps couples navigate the emotional landscape with empathy and understanding.

Changing Roles: Parenthood often entails a shift in roles and responsibilities within a relationship. Counselling provides a platform to discuss and adapt to these changes. It encourages couples to redefine their roles as partners and parents, ensuring a harmonious balance. 

Family Backgrounds: Your own upbringing influences how you’ll parent. Counselling helps you to reflect on your distinct family backgrounds, recognizing how these influences might impact your parenting expectations and approaches. Open dialogue about these differences can lead to a harmonious parenting strategy. 

Getting Support: Raising a child is a team effort. Counselling helps you identify who’s on your team – like family, friends, or community resources. This support network can make the early days of parenthood a lot easier. 

Strengthening Your Relationship: A strong relationship is key to dealing with the challenges of parenthood. Counselling for expectant parents gives you tools to improve your connection. It helps you talk to each other, ask for help, and handle disagreements in a positive way. 

In today’s world, where there’s so much information and high expectations, counselling is like a guide. It helps you feel more ready for pregnancy and parenthood. By taking part in this process, you’re not only preparing for your new baby but also growing as a couple. It’s a way to boost your confidence and set the stage for a happy family life ahead.

Written by:
Elizabeth Pan
Psychotherapist & Counsellor
SACAC Counselling

Gratitude – Your Own Sunshine

Gratitude is strongly and resolutely associated with higher happiness. When we are grateful for the positive aspects of our lives we are less likely to focus on the areas wherein we may not be living up to our full potential. Gratitude encourages individuals to experience more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, cope with adversity and engage to build strong relationships. Benefits of practicing gratitude are in plenty, some them of them are listed below.

Emotional benefits

Expressing gratitude relieves stress, lessens anxiety, improves sleep, supports heart health. Gratitude helps individuals to regulate their emotions of fear, anger, disgust, guilt, loneliness, helplessness to name a few. Complaining and negative thoughts are mental habits. These habits involve ruminating over worries which get amplified by lamenting in discouraging thoughts. Individuals get stuck in the negativity and experience strong sense of hopelessness. It is helpful to try gratitude instead to break out of the cycle of complaining and negative thoughts. Gratitude can help individuals to control their reaction to negative thoughts. Adopting a daily gratitude practice is helpful. Individuals can improve their mood and there by boost positive emotions. Expressing gratitude helps us to target on positive attitudes which are uplifting. Grieving with gratitude helps individuals overcome remorse, unhappiness or sadness. Experiencing grief is distressing but by considering gratitude, individuals can see memories in positive light. We learn to appreciate what we have. 

Several studies have highlighted adopting gratitude as a daily practice enhances happiness. Research has shown individuals who feel grateful tend to display more positive feelings. Gratitude can help readjust your emotions and elevate your mindset.

Social benefits

Practicing gratitude helps improve relationships within family, with friends and at work. It can help you feel more connected with others.  According to a study, the receiver of gratitude projects “relational growth” with the other person expressing gratitude (Algoe et al., 2013, pp.605-609). It has been observed that the quality of relationships gets enhanced. Individuals within family, friends or colleagues’ bond better and picture others positively. Resolution of possible tricky issues can be initiated using gratitude as a springboard. Gratitude can make us feel more connected. Individuals can maintain strong bonds and help reduce feelings of loneliness. Individuals find it easy to reach out for social support and scale down emotions of disconnectedness. 

Few tips to adopt gratitude in our daily practice

Maintain a gratitude journal. Simply jotting down what you feel thankful for works wonderfully to uplift our spirit. Be in the present to notice and acknowledge joy. Practice kindness. Gratitude is a tool to use to help us to manage our emotions. The goal is to tap into ourselves to find our very own sunshine. 

Written by:
Vrushali Paradkar
SACAC Counselling