Counselling for Other Reproductive Challenges

Women and couples may suddenly find themselves experiencing new challenges after they move beyond fertility treatment. Those issues can include relationship struggles, loss of pregnancy, birth and postpartum issues and conscious single parenting.

 

Beyond Fertility Treatment

For many couples it is very hard to know when to stop treatment. The layers to make the decision to move on are complex and deeply rooted in grief. Each person’s journey is unique and therefore the decision to move on comes at different times.

The option to adopt, foster, or make decisions about child-free living are multifaceted. At NOC, we help our clients explore these options and identify the various paths they can take to creating their own, unique families. We counsel clients through their grief and loss and ultimate healing as they journey through this process. We work closely with community resources and make referrals as needed.

 

Relationship Counselling Throughout the Fertility Journey

Most couples are completely unprepared for the strain that infertility places on their relationship. Relationships can be stressed by ongoing disappointments, exhausting medical interventions, and the repeated loss of hopes and dreams.

At NOC, we have found that relationship counseling is a large part of the work we do. Understanding the typical gap in gender responses to infertility, we support our clients to understand each other and ultimately bridge this gap. We help our couples navigate their relationships through this process and beyond in order to restore balance and equanimity in their relationships.

 

Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss

Pregnancy loss is a traumatic event. Although a woman may recover quickly from the physical impact, she may continue experiencing the process of grief long after. Most women feel isolated after a miscarriage and many experience deep depression. Pregnancy after miscarriage and/or terminations also brings forth multiple stressors.

NOC counsellors understand that everyone grieves this loss in a different way. Counselling can help women and couples understand these feelings normalize them, provide appropriate community connections and move through the process with acceptance and hope.

 

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is moderate to severe depression or anxiety in a woman after she has given birth. PPD may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later.

At NOC, our goal is to help our clients understand that PPD is an illness that requires proper treatment and patience. We address the issues that have lead to PPD including those such as unrealistic expectations of motherhood, expectations of perfection, fear of failure, transition to motherhood, self-esteem issues, mother-baby bonding and marital conflict. At the same time, we focus on creating adequate support systems for our clients as well as collaborating with community resources as needed.

 

Conscious Single Parenting

With the accessibility of modern technology, women have the option to plan their families without a partner. Making the decision to parent alone can be challenging and overwhelming. Some women grieve the loss of how they envisioned their lives to be (with a partner) and some struggle with the challenge of not having children in the ”traditional” way defined by society. Other women need assistance assessing the options for single parenting as they mature.

NOC provides counselling to women who choose to parent through conception or adoption. NOC supports clients as they go through the process and provides a support system vital to single mothers.

 

Infertility Support Groups

NOC support groups are designed to help individuals and couples cope with the physical and emotional impact of infertility.

Groups can help decrease isolation, improve communication skills, and provide a space for relaxation.

Other benefits of group include:

  • Experiencing a sense of acceptance and belonging
  • Discovering you are not alone in the difficulty you are experiencing
  • Learning ideas from others which can enhance your ability to make decisions and solve problems
  • Learning from others how to cope with negative outcomes
  • Benefitting from the experience of being helpful to others
  • Learning to constructively express feelings and ideas to others

We worked with Karin Schwartz a number of times on and off over several years as we navigated the emotional mire of infertility, unsuccessful IVF and eventually the complicated process of surrogacy.

Though our story ended with a beautiful baby boy, Karin also helped us throughout our journey to imagine and accept a meaningful life without children, if that was to be our future.

Karin was incredibly warm and supportive and her counselling sessions made a huge difference in our lives at a very difficult time. Her thoughtful and caring approach drew us into discussions that we were avoiding at home but needed to have.

She is also very knowledgeable about the medical aspects of infertility and was always ready with practical suggestions that motivated us to advocate for ourselves in the often overwhelming medical system.

C and P, Vancouver couple