Our free pregnancy counselling service – a safe space to explore your feelingsFebruary 24, 2022
News of a pregnancy can sometimes result in feelings that are all over the place. However, if those feelings are overwhelming or confusing, they might definitely be worth exploring with CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay’s (CCDBB) experienced counsellors.
CCDBB provides face-to-face or telehealth pregnancy counselling on the Northern Beaches and in the northern Sydney area. The free service is available to women and men of all ages who are facing issues related to pregnancy.
“We provide a non-judgmental, safe place for people to explore their feelings around pregnancy,” says counsellor Michele Brownsberger.
“There are many reasons people might be feeling overwhelmed or experiencing confusion. It might be an unplanned pregnancy, or their relationship with their partner is under stress, or they are a single mum with few resources,” she said.
“We also counsel women who might have had a baby and are struggling or who have had a loss through a miscarriage or termination or neo-natal death.
“We usually see women who are pregnant or are in the first year of having a baby. But our service is available to women and men of all ages in relation to pregnancy.”
Michele says often people might be feeling overwhelmed about a pregnancy because of challenging circumstances in their life.
“So, one of the things we can do is link women to other services. For example, if she is feeling isolated, we can connect her to the Mum2Mum service. We can also link to parenting support or housing support if that’s needed, especially in cases where domestic violence might be an issue and a safe home is needed,” she says.
“Our role is counselling, to talk it through, but we can refer our clients to CatholicCare’s Family Support Services for the practical support that they might need.”
Michele says there are many different reasons why people come to CCDBB for pregnancy counselling.
“For example, we have had clients who are new to Australia and find themselves pregnant and alone with no family and few supports,” she says.
“In those cases, people can feel overwhelmed. As part of the suite of services provided to such clients by CatholicCare, we are able to provide counselling to help them talk through some of what they are feeling.”
In other cases, we have had clients referred to us who are pregnant or have a baby and are living in a domestic violence situation where, for a range of reasons, they might feel they can’t leave.
“So, we’ve been able to provide counselling as well as consistent safety planning and advice to help in combatting the financial and emotional control they’re experiencing.”
Counselling after birth can also help women who are struggling in their new life with a baby or who may be having difficulty forming an attachment with the baby.
“Counselling can help them settle into that motherhood role more, to identify and normalise their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental space,” Michele says.
Michele says counselling can be conducted in person or via video.
“It’s not always easy for women to make it to a face-to-face appointment, especially if they already have small children, and also during the COVID pandemic, so the telehealth video option has become quite popular,” she says.
“Our service is primarily to offer a listening ear, in a safe, non-judgmental space at a time in life when feelings can be overwhelming or confusing; to talk it all through.
“From there, we can offer pathways to other support service and practical and material assistance if required, including alternate care options.”
The CCDBB Pregnancy Counselling service also offers workshops for expecting parents, as well as new parents, exploring pregnancy care, labour/active birth, pain relief and baby care.