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Pregnancy/Women’s Health

Pregnancy, Post-pregnancy, Menopause and Health Issues.
At Flourishing Life Psychology Services, we offer counselling and psychological support for women whom are experiencing difficulties during pregnancy, post pregnancy, onset or experience of menopause and health issues in general.
 
Pregnancy and Post-pregnancy
Becoming a mother brings a wide range of emotions, ranging from joy and excitement to stress and apprehension. The physical changes you go through and the changes in hormone levels following childbirth can also affect your mood and feelings, so it’s common to experience more ups and downs than usual. All parents go through a period of adjustment as they try to handle the many changes a new baby brings, however if you are feeling distressed, sad or overwhelmed most of the time for two weeks or more, you may be experiencing depression. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health and can have effects on others around you including your relationships and your baby’s development.
 
Did you know?
Up to one in ten women (9 per cent) experience depression during pregnancy (antenatal depression). Whilst one in seven women (almost 16 per cent) experience postnatal depression. Postnatal depression is the term for depression experienced by women between one month and up to year after the birth of the baby. Depression can start before or during pregnancy and continue after childbirth. The term perinatal depression is used to cover the whole period from conception until your baby is 12 months old. Depression may also return in a following pregnancy or after the birth of another child.
 
Menopause
The menopause is sometimes called ‘the change of life’, marking the end of a woman’s reproductive life. At menopause, ovulation no longer occurs and production of oestrogen and progesterone ceases. The word “menopause” refers to the last or final menstrual period a woman experiences. When a woman has had no periods for 12 consecutive months she is considered to be “postmenopausal”.
 
Physical and psychological symptoms
Some physical symptoms commonly reported by peri- and post-menopausal women include hot flushes and night sweats, bodily aches and pains, dry skin, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, urinary frequency, and sleeping difficulties. Psychological symptoms of menopause can include mood changes, anxiety, irritability, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating or making decisions due to hormonal changes and sleep deprivation. Low levels of oestrogen are associated with lower levels of serotonin, a chemical that regulates mood, emotions and sleep. Depression is not more common at menopause than at other stages of life, however a past history of depression, particularly post-natal depression, and stress during peri-menopause may make a woman more likely to experience disturbances in mood.
 
Women now livearound one third of their lives after menopause so optimising physical and mental health during this period is becoming more important.
 
If you would like to enquire about any of the above conditions, or to book an appointment with the psychologist, please email or call on (02) 9553 9023.

 

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