Holistic Care for Women

Importance of Providing Support for Women during Pregnancy

  • Pregnant women who are unsure whether they want to keep their baby need to know that there is support available if they do choose to go through with pregnancy, and that abortion is not their only or most accessible option.
  • This is especially important for women who choose to continue with their pregnancies after finding out that their unborn child has a life-limiting condition (see fact sheet on “Hospice in the Womb”).
  • Support is also vital for pregnant women facing issues such as domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness or housing crises, and/or financial hardships.
  • Both women that give birth or undergo an abortion need support, as women can feel isolated in both circumstances.

Definition of Holistic Care

  • Holistic care, also called comprehensive care, aims to look beyond the physical perspective of pregnancy and extend it to include a woman’s emotions and mental wellbeing to enhance the experience of pregnancy.
  • The changes that occur with pregnancy and childbirth affect one’s whole life: their identity, relationships, values, and beliefs.
  • It focuses on natural approaches to health and pregnancy, promoting things such as a healthy diet, exercise, and complementary therapies such as pregnancy massages or acupuncture. Holistic care can also provide spiritual support for those who want it. Pregnancy is seen as an opportunity for great spiritual growth, as personal beliefs and values shape expectations surrounding pregnancy.
  • This approach recognises that there are changes in emotions for women during pregnancy, including possible periods of ambivalence, anxiety, or roller-coaster emotions. It is important to acknowledge these emotions and find strategies to help reduce stress in healthy ways.
  • Being aware of the emotional journey of pregnancy further helps parents prepare for life after their baby is born, and to address changes in their roles and relationships.
  • Choosing a holistic approach means learning about the benefits and risks of all childbirth options so that an informed decision can be made.

Services Available

Caroline Chisholm Society
Helpline: 03 9361 7000 or for Country Victoria 1800 134 863
Website: http://www.caroline.org.au/

The Babes Project
Helpline: 03 8719 0606 (Wed-Fri 9am-3pm), 0423 053 096 (Out of hours)
Website: http://www.thebabesproject.com.au/

Pregnancy Counselling Australia
Helpline: 1300 RESPECT (1300 737 732)
Website: http://www.pregnancycounselling.com.au/

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