Here are a few common situations which might lead to perinatal consultations :
Long-term infertility, making the issue of (one day) becoming a parent particularly present, its painful implications for the couple and its sexuality, the lowered self-image, the fear of continuing to feel somehow “lacking” because of this longed-for child
a desire for psychological support during the pregnancy, to prepare for the birth, for breastfeeding, including requests for treatment for anxiety brought about in relation to the future role as parents, values to be passed on, the anticipated changes in the couple’s relationship after the arrival of the child, …
a request (whether or not psychotherapeutic) for help in bonding with the new born baby, support in the building up of parenting skills (formerly known as “mothering”)
a request for support to the couple when the birth leaves the parents overwhelmed
a perinatal bereavement:
* abortion on medical grounds, therapeutic abortion
* simple involuntary termination leading to a difficulty or precaution/help with the decision
* miscarriage (early or late)
* child death (after the birth) such as the sudden death syndrome, end of life support for a nonviable infant...
The premature birth of a child also falls into the perinatal domain, both on a paediatric and psychological level for the parents who are generally not really prepared for the eventuality of a premature birth and its neurological or functional consequences for the child and narcissistic or emotional consequences for the parents
Multiple births, which require the parents to make a particularly big change on every level (risks during pregnancy and after the birth, risk linked with generally premature births, fatigue, anxiety, socio-economic problems, questions about differentiating between monozygotic twins, …)
an unplanned pregnancy or a high risk one which hasn’t been properly prepared
after a denial of pregnancy
an ante-natal or post-natal diagnostic of a foetal anomaly
medical complications at the time of the pregnancy or delivery which sometimes lead to psychological difficulties for the mother which could threaten the emotional relationship with the child when there was a fundamental risk for one or both partners in the mother-child unit moderate or severe episodes of "baby-blues" or pre or post-partum depression are an additional illustration of this...