Counselling for partners and families of women affected by pregnancy sickness

As a specialist Counsellor I work with partners and adult family members of women affected by pregnancy sickness, at any stage of suffering or recovery.

Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) are medical conditions that can cause persistent retching and vomiting, uncontrollable nausea, debilitating exhaustion, severe dehydration and weight loss in pregnant women. Pregnancy sickness can leave women feeling anxious, depressed, and struggling to function or cope. This is something that partners and families can find traumatising to witness.

Bearing witness to their loved one’s distress and suffering can leave partners and family members feeling shocked, confused, anxious and low in mood. They might struggle with a sense of helplessness or powerlessness, unable to do anything to end the suffering. They might struggle to cope with feelings of anger or frustration around accessing adequate support or understanding from health care professionals. They might experience a sense of grieving or loss around not being able to enjoy a ‘normal’ pregnancy or a ‘normal’ relationship with their pregnant loved one. They might struggle to articulate to others what it is like, living with or being around a partner or family member with pregnancy sickness. They might be inclined to ‘just carry on’ or ‘be strong’ for her without attending to their own feelings, thoughts and needs.

Counselling can provide a safe, contained, non-judgmental, supportive space in which partners and family members can begin to process or make sense of how the pregnancy sickness experience is or was for them. Engaging with counselling can often promote healing and recovery not just in the individual client but also within relationships.