Mental Health in Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be the most exciting time in the life of couples, especially the mother. However, care must be taken about the mental health of the mother during pregnancy. According to the research quoted in the BBC, one in seven women experience a mental health disorder at some point in pregnancy or just after birth and therefore urges midwives to do more in order to sport signs of depression in pregnant women. {mosgoogle right}There are several changes in the hormones in the body and this can lead to complicated moods and mood swings. The body is constantly changing during pregnancy and therefore mental health can be affected in various ways. Some of the mental problems that occur during pregnancy are depression, anxiety, manic-depressive disorder etc.

Pregnancy is also associated with increased stress and worry and the fact that the body goes through many changes which cause a change in your emotional states only makes matters worse for the mental health of women in pregnancy. One of the most common mental health risks that would be mothers have is the problem of depression. Depression is dangerous during pregnancy if left unattended and untreated because it risks both the mother’s health as well as the baby’s health. Depression and mood swings cause the other to feel extremes of emotions, especially moments of extreme sadness. Actually depression is quite common among pregnant women as there is a rapid rise in the hormone levels during pregnancy. This is a very common factor that induces depression. Up to 10% of pregnant women develop full blown clinical depression which is quite a significant number. If there is a family history of depression or if there has been a personal history, then special care must be taken in those cases to make sure that the pregnant women doesn’t go into depression. Even if the re has been any history of emotional or sexual abuse, it is likely that depression can occur during pregnancy and therefore it is important to know the clinical history of the pregnant women. Psychotherapy works best in order to treat many cases of depression during pregnancy. In these therapy sessions, the therapist goes to the root causes of your depression and tries to help you deal with those. In severe cases, antidepressants can be used but only after consulting with your doctor.

Another very important factor that contributes to depression and mental illnesses during pregnancy is the change in body shape and image. The self image of the body that the pregnant woman possesses is quite different from the self image she possessed before pregnancy. The pregnant woman may feel disturbed and dissatisfied by her figure which only leads to further depression. It is thus essential that you view pregnancy as something beautiful and understand that it is not too d ifficult to get back in shape after pregnancy. You can take cue from the countless women you see today on the silver screen who have kids but are as well maintained as they were before.

The main problem is the use of medication in order to control moods and maintain a sound health of the mother. The reason is that medicines can cause a lot of harm to the unborn baby. There are many medicines that have been used for this purpose but more recent research has shown that they are harmful to the baby. However, if you do decide to take medication, you should consult your doctor beforehand and never involve yourself in self medication. Ultimately, whether you think medication is necessary or not depends on your own personal needs, but should be avoided during pregnancy whenever possible. Therefore you should discuss your case thoroughly with your doctor. For example, you might get pregnant while on a dose of taking mental health medicine or you may have a history o f mental health disorders previously. In such cases, it is very important that you sit with your doctor and discuss your specific case.

However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t take your mental health issues seriously during pregnancy. In fact they should be of utmost importance to you, since mental health problems today are a leading cause of maternal death as discussed in the book by Sally Price (Sally Price, Mental Health in Pregnancy and Childbirth). Therefore you should take mental health therapy sessions with your psychiatrist if you think you can improve your mental health this way without taking medication. At no point of time should you suffer any mental trauma and whenever needed, you should seek professional help. In some cases, there are also excessive suicidal impulses which can lead to self harm by the pregnant woman. These can prove to be fatal many a times and can also adversely affect the health of the mother and the child. Therefore these tendencies should be kept under control at all times and if there is any indication of such impulses, you should consult your doctor immediately. There should be appropriate prenatal care for pregnant women who are suffering from depression and other mental illnesses and also those women who are at risk due to personal or family history. In fact, poor mental health during pregnancy can lead to increased substance abuse, alcohol and cigarettes which are very harmful for the unborn baby. Therefore it is very important that pregnant women not indulge too much in these activities.

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