Learning the Psychology of Pregnancy in Therapy | Austin, TX

Charlotte Howard, a therapist at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy in Austin, TX, talks about how pregnancy can be the wonderful time of exploration where you learn to care for yourself and your child at the same time.


Pregnancy and Creative Life

Pregnancy is such a rich time for creation. It’s like that creative life is coming into you and it spills over and people want to create all sorts of things. They start to nest and want to create a space for their child. But they also become open and vulnerable in a beautiful way, where all sorts of things can be birthed through them.

Pregnancy Helps Open People Up in a Way that Supports Therapy

I love pregnancy. It seems to just open people up so much. It can also put people in touch with childhood issues that were unresolved, especially mother-daughter or any issues with their parents because now they are becoming a parent. All of that comes out to be cared for and it’s a very important time to get support for whatever anxiety and fear, pain or loss emerges.

Exploring The Psychology of Pregnancy in Therapy

Giving Your Child the Things You Didn’t Get

A lot can come up after pregnancy, being a new parent, because you’re giving your child all the things you didn’t get and that can be very emotional. It can be sad for people to realize, “Why didn’t someone want to do this for me? I’m so in love! How could my parent have been too depressed to pay attention to me?”

Learning to be a Good Parent to Yourself

If that parent can transition to parenting themselves and the baby at the same time it can be a really healing experience. Everything that person gives the baby, they’re giving to themselves. They’re really holding and feeling their infant-self during that moment. That is beautiful and it’s such a rich time and opportunity for healing.

Fear About Being a Parent

One thing I’ve noticed is that people get a lot of fear about being a parent and they channel that anxious energy into details and into obsessing about what brand of car seat they should use, etc. New mothers can become very obsessive. It’s all understandable, but I think it should be a sign to slow down and notice what feelings might be underneath. That anxious energy is so afraid—what might happen to the baby, reading up on this and that, how do I do everything perfectly—and it can interfere with those moments of bonding that are so important.

Creating the Space for Intimacy Post-Pregnancy

You really want to create a space where you can lie in bed, looking at the little hairs on your infant’s ears, just ready for any moment of contact and soaking it up; almost being in the womb with them. That can be so intimate and scary that people try to jump out of it and that’s where a lot of the detail stressing comes from. It should be seen more as a sign for you to care for your fear and slow down to connect.  

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