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I had a bad childhood and I don't want to continue that pattern of behaviour on my own children

Many people do worry that their own negative experiences of childhood will impact on the kind of parent they become.  It is important to remember that most people who have been abused or neglected will not become abusive or neglectful as parents themselves.   

Recognising the possible impact of your own experiences of childhood as risk is the first step. Giving yourself the permission and resources to overcome some of the lasting effects of the abuse may be an important foundation for being the kind of parent you want to be.  Counselling, support, self-care, reading and parenting preparation groups may also be helpful. A directory of mental health and counselling services is available on the Queensland Government website

I'm not sure I have the emotional capacity to be a parent

It is common for people to worry about their emotional capacity to parent, and an unplanned pregnancy can elevate these concerns. This article might help you to understand some of the neurological changes to your brain that will be driven by  the hormones of pregnancy and those present around the time of birth. It will help you to understand the science behind some of the emotional journey you are on, in terms of feelings like protectiveness and worry.

This will not be the first challenge you have faced in your life. No doubt you have learnt skills and developed some personal insights from these other challenges to support you to further develop your patience and resilience. However, if you are already experiencing strong or overwhelming emotions such as worry, anxiety or depression whilst you are pregnant it may be good to reach out for support at this stage. Women’s Health Queensland Wide offer a midwife check in service for women both during pregnancy and after birth for support around emotional issues - check their website or call them on 1800 017 676. Alternatively check in with your GP, community health worker or midwife who may be able to link you to other local supports and resources.

Last modified on: 17 June 2020
I have concerns about parenting
17 June 2020

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