Pregnancy Guide 101: 6 Effective Ways To Manage Mental Health During Pregnancy & Postpartum
Pregnancy Guide 101: Pregnancy is a crucial and life-changing experience for an expectant mother and her family members. Having a baby is a major milestone thus a pregnant woman may undergo mixed emotions. One minute, she may be overwhelmed with happiness and joy while the next minute, she may be engulfed with sadness and fear. Additionally, she experiences a number of hormonal changes that may cause her to become quite emotional and even grumpy. It is natural for a pregnant woman to experience a range of emotions during pregnancy and after giving birth. Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar, Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals Hebbal, Bangalore reveals that a mother-to-be experiences perinatal mental health problems due to unpleasant symptoms. The expert further shares concerns, causes, effects and how to deal with them.
MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS OF A PREGNANT WOMAN
- The change in her role and her relationships from being a woman to a mother.
- The fear of undergoing complications during the pregnancy or the growing baby.
- The responsibility to be a good parent.
- The fear of being alone due to lack of support.
MENTAL HEALTH CAUSE & EFFECT ON A PREGNANT WOMAN
- Earlier signs of being diagnosed with a mental illness
- Stopping medications for a mental health problem
- Recent events stimulated stress.
- Feelings regarding the pregnancy
- Difficult childhood memories
- Low self-esteem
- Experiencing abuse in the past
WHEN SHOULD A PREGNANT WOMAN SEEK HELP?
It is important for all expectant mothers and their family members to monitor their mental health and well-being by looking out for signs and symptoms such as:
- Negative feelings and thoughts affect day-to-day activities
- Feeling under the weather for longer than two weeks
- Experiencing hopelessness or losing interest which indicates signs of perinatal depression
- Undergoing panic attacks and perinatal anxiety or developing obsessive or compulsive behaviours
6 TIPS FOR PREGNANT WOMAN TO MANAGE HER MENTAL WELL BEING
- Be realistic and avoid high expectations
- Avoid making significant changes such as changing jobs or moving houses
- Remain physically engaged in activities such as meditation
- Discover hobbies and things that maintain your interest
- Eating regular well-balanced healthy meals
- Connect with your family members and remain vocal with the doctor
It is important for caregivers to create a safe space for pregnant women to discuss what she feels without any judgements to avoid long-term consequences in the lives of both the mother and the baby.