Counselling for women currently living with pregnancy sickness

I offer specialist counselling support to women who are currently living with pregnancy sickness or Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), aiming to reduce isolation, alleviate distress and increase wellbeing. While counselling cannot ‘cure’ nausea or vomiting, it can enable women to develop new coping strategies, and leave them with an enhanced sense of their suffering being acknowledged and understood.

Sometimes, women are reluctant to tell friends and family how much they are struggling to cope with pregnancy sickness. They may feel that their illness is being minimised or dismissed by others, or they may not want them to worry. Counselling provides a safe, non-judgmental space for women to express how it really is for them.

The psychological impacts of pregnancy sickness are complex. Women describe feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, panicky, lonely, confused, embarrassed, stressed, disappointed, guilty, angry, abnormal, helpless, traumatised, or desperate. Pregnancy sickness often has a detrimental effect on quality of life, wellbeing, confidence, mood, capacity for personal care, parenting, work, relationships, sleep, self-esteem, identity, cognitive and physical functioning. Many women are rendered bedbound or housebound due to the severity of their symptoms.

Counselling sessions can support women to make sense of and manage difficult feelings and thoughts; replenish psychological wellbeing; strengthen relationships affected by the illness; facilitate emotional connection with their pregnancy; deal with unhelpful comments from others; reclaim sense of control; increase self-compassion; develop strategies for coping with physical symptoms or mental distress; acquire skills in managing antenatal anxiety or depression; broaden support networks; emotionally prepare for mothering; or address any aspect of their suffering. Every session is tailored to suit each client’s unique needs and preferences, helping her explore new ways forward that are likely to be beneficial.

Within the structured framework of a counselling relationship, I endeavour to offer therapeutic support to women at any stage of their pregnancy sickness journey.