Pregnancy is the time when a woman’s health is most vulnerable and sensitive. Her physical, as well as mental health, needs to be taken care of. Although pregnancy is always considered the time of emotional well-being, recent studies suggest that up to 20% of pregnant women suffer from mood or anxiety disorders.
Particularly, women who have a history of psychiatric illness are more vulnerable, as they have to discontinue psychotropic medications during pregnancy. A recent study has estimated that women who stopped medication were five times as likely to weaken as compared to women who maintained treatment.
Depression, anxiety, and bipolar are common issues that women face. For all this, a woman needs medication to be cured, but the same can cause complications in pregnancy.
Mental Illness and Pregnancy
In many cases, the couple has unprotected coitus during the ongoing psychiatric treatment of the women, and this unexpected pregnancy news can also make a woman anxious. It can result in substantial risks for women as their treatment will be hampered, and also the medications will be stopped.
Decisions regarding the start or maintenance of treatment during pregnancy should only be taken after consideration of their exposure to the fetus. Couples must also reflect an understanding of the risks associated with fetal exposure to a particular medication and compare it with risks of untreated psychiatric illness in the mother, and then make a decision.
Pregnancy and mental illness together are not smooth events and can cause significant degenerative disorders for both the mother and her child; thus, ceasing or holding medication during pregnancy is not always the safest option.
There are more ways to treat the diseased apart from medication, like talking one-on-one with a therapist. It is a great way to manage stress, deal with depression, and ease anxiety. Women who also have joined a support group, find a place to voice their concerns with other mothers, who also have a mutual and common understanding of this situation.
Conversation with a social worker or counselor can help you deal with money issues, worries over raising a child, or other stresses in your life. Many women find comfort in activities like yoga, exercise, and meditation. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talking to a friend, family member, or faith leader can help you feel better.
Role of Healthcare Professionals and Husband
So far, we have discussed that it is common for women to experience mental ill-health for the first time in pregnancy. Women develop depression. During pregnancy, you can talk with your Ob-Gyn or family doctor regarding what you are feeling. The women often worry about what to and what not to share with their healthcare professionals and their close groups.
This results in increased anxiety and confusion, which leads to depression. They have a fear of being judged as a parent. On the other hand, healthcare professionals are trying to narrow this gap and eliminate this misconception, so the pregnant women know whom to turn to in such situations.
Pregnant women should never be afraid to share what’s going on in her mind with healthcare specialists. A healthcare professional can also judge through behaviors and gestures about your mental health, so take their advice seriously.
In such times, the role of husbands becomes more crucial as pregnant women who are going through depression, anxiety, or anything else might not be in the best capacity to make a rational judgment, so that’s why the husband/guardian must be with her during every visit.
Their partner/guardians should also look for certain behavioral aspects like whether the woman is remaining sad and hopeless or going through negative thoughts about yourself, not able to sleep well, having a lack of interest or excitement, and loss of appetite.
Taking care of nutrition during pregnancy is also very important. Pregnancy and birth have the power to trigger depression in the woman, and it’s the responsibility of their partner/guardian to understand the signs—there many ways in which health professionals can provide care and treatment.
Your care is coordinated by Ob-gyn, counselors, nurses, family doctors, and many other professionals. Treatment will always be made available to you when you need it. All the necessary information will be shared among professionals and with you.
Your mental health is also taken into account when planning your care during pregnancy or after giving birth. Treatment for mental health problems in pregnancy and after giving birth includes psychological care, which includes talking therapy and medicine as well. You can also take advice from your maternity doctor if you feel dizziness.
Tips For Having a Positive Mental Health During Pregnancy
So far, we have discussed what can go wrong and what to do when it goes wrong. Now let’s reflect on the ideas on how to not let it go wrong. You need to be sure that if you have any wrong/negative ideas, thoughts, or feelings, or are termed anxious, depressed, or with any mental illness, then hold yourself rather than losing your will.
- To prevent these issues from ever taking place or getting more serious, one should talk them out. All the tips in such situations are for pregnant females as well as their husband/guardians. Having or sharing reassurance, positivity, jokes, happiness, and support always works in these situations. Talking with friends, relatives, acquaintances, and even other known/unknown pregnant mothers helps a lot.
- You should indulge in activities that give you joy, it is important to recall and remember all the good that is happening, has happened, and can happen in your life. A child is something that you surely might have dreamt for very long. Other than that, eat good food and hear peaceful and calm music. Eat healthy to feel good and healthy.
- Medication and mindfulness should be a part of your routine, too, take deep breaths, clear your thoughts, and focus on peace & calm. When the toes of your legs or the bones in the back. Close your eyes and lie down for a while, and have a mental note of what’s happening around.
- Writing about your feelings can always help you, make a gratitude journal, or have a writing habit to note all the thoughts and feelings you felt for the day. Writing also helps in ensuring that you spend constructive time with your thoughts; it is also a way of getting rid of negative thoughts and increasing the focus on positive thoughts.
- Read fiction as well as non-fiction on pregnancy, spend your time in planning your parental routine with your partner or even alone. How can you add more to your parenting skills and be a supportive & friendly parent? At every step of pregnancy, ask yourself whether I am doing okay and whether it is right for the baby and me.
- Self-reflection and direction are very necessary during this period. You need to be strong and have high will power as this the situation you are facing, while as a partner, a husband, or as a caretaker, a guardian should ensure that the woman is free of all worries.