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Adjustment to parenting

Adjusting to parenthood and life with a newborn brings with it lots of new learning and change.

Clients may have challenges with feeding their baby and be different to what they expected or hoped for.

Lack of sleep ⁠— Which can greatly affect parent's mood, energy, patience and ability to think clearly.

Coping with an unsettled baby ⁠— Babies all come with their own unique temperaments which can bring additional demands on a parent's patience and feelings towards their baby.


Whilst the challenges of managing a new baby or young children is likely to bring some level of stress and anxiety from time to time, generally this will be transient and feelings will pass on their own with time. If however clients have ongoing disturbing thoughts and/or feelings of worry and tension that are hard to live with and/or affect their ability to manage from day to day, then they may be experiencing more severe anxiety.

Feelings of fear and worry which begin to ‘take over’ your client's thinking

Reoccurring worrying thoughts such as that they are not doing things right and/or that something terrible will happen

Feeling irritable, restless, tense or constantly ‘on edge’

Bonding with their baby

Bonding with a baby is something that society generally expects will happen instantly and automatically.

Feeling emotionally disconnected from theirbaby

Avoiding having contact with their baby

Feeling resentful toward their baby

Coping during pregnancy

Being pregnant can lead clients to experience a wide range of emotions and physical changes.

Clients may be feeling unwell, tired and irritable

Clients may be wondering how to tell others the news and manage relationships with family

Clients may have an unplanned pregnancy that they are coming to terms with


Depression during pregnancy and postnatal depression is a common, but debilitating condition that affects up to one in five women. Postnatal depression can also effect any parent or primary care giver including non-biological parents. Unlike the baby blues which passes on its own, depression can be long-lasting, and affect your ability to cope with a baby or young children.

Feeling low or numb – some people describe feeling nothing at all

Loss of confidence, feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless

Lack of interest and/or pleasure in life and/or the baby

Difficult circumstances

Clients may be facing finance, housing, domestic violence or legal issues.

Legal matters are often complex, time-consuming and can drain Client's energy and money.

Having a safe, secure place to live is one of the most basic human rights.

Violence against women is a significant human rights issue. Everyone has a right to safety in homes, schools, at work and on the streets.

Difficulty conceiving

Discovering and coming to terms with the notion that you are having difficulty naturally conceiving can be stressful, and can leave Clients feeling angry, depressed and anxious. It can also put additional stress on relationships, intimacy and their connection with others.

The experience of IVF can be challenging, intense and overwhelming.

The process of assisted reproduction itself is associated with increased anxiety, depression and stress and can impact on self-esteem and confidence.

A medical diagnosis of infertility can leave clients feeling shocked and in disbelief as they struggle to come to terms with the fact that their hopes and dreams of having a child are threatened or not under their control.

Family dynamics

Not only has their role and place in the world changed since becoming a parent, but so has that of other family members who have become grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings. In turn this can effect relationships with extended family.

Expectations that family members may have about their new role may not align with the client

The client and their partner may have differing views about the level of involvement that they want family to have

Clients may hold negative feelings about their own parents or their childhood experiences

Miscarriage, termination or infant loss

The loss of a developing or new baby can lead to strong feelings of sadness and grief. Often, however, these emotions that clients may experience are minimised or not well understood by our family, friends or others in the community.

Pregnancy loss can lead clients to grieve for not only the pregnancy but also their sense of self and their hopes for the future as a mother or father of that child.

Clients may wonder how to speak with others about what has happened

Clients may experience a roller coaster of emotions such as numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, anxiety, confusion and difficulty concentrating.

Other mental health conditions

Clients may have an existing mental health condition like bipolar disorder or a personality disorder.

Clients may require some advice or assistance with medication

Clients may require help linking in with other in-home supports

Clients may require additional supports from a psychiatrist

Parenting challenges

Parenting young children can be demanding, stressful and full of challenges.

Clients may be feeling frustrated by their child's behaviours

Worried about their baby or child and their physical and/or emotional health

Worried about whether they're doing a good enough job as a parent

Preparing for birth or parenthood

Clients may be seeking some help with preparing mentally for the birth of their baby or their parenthood journey

Clients may be worried about how the birth will go and how they’ll recover

Clients may be planning for another child after experiencing postnatal depression or anxiety in the past

Clients may be worried about whether they can cope with having another child

Relationship difficulties

Even the strongest relationships are strained during the transition to parenthood. Lack of sleep, never-ending housework and financial concerns can lead to profound stress and a decline in marital satisfaction. Not surprisingly, research shows 69% of new parents experience conflict, disappointment and hurt feelings.

Difficulties communicating effectively

Arguing over the same things, feeling like arguments get out of hand or constant bickering

Feeling disconnected, resentful, bored or unfulfilled in their relationship

Returning to work

Returning to work after having a baby may be straight forward for some, but for others can be challenging. As clients come towards the time they plan to return to work, they may experience a range of different emotions.

Sadness or anxiety about returning to work

Settling their child into a new routine

Guilt around leaving their child

Traumatic birth experience

Unfortunately, childbirth doesn’t always go as we may have hoped for, or expected. When things don’t go to plan at the birth this leaves many parents feeling depleted, disappointed and in need of support.

Clients may have found themselves feeling powerless, out of control, or felt that their needs were not met, and that they needed more support than they received.

Clients may have feared for theirs or their baby's life

There may have been complications in the pregnancy or at the time of birth, and/or unplanned medical intervention may have been required.

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