Understanding Mental Health And Complications During Pregnancy
When you are planning to have a baby, it can be a thrilling and challenging time in your life. If you are experiencing emotional changes at this time, don’t be surprised. With pregnancy comes the normal feeling of apprehension and dread about what’s ahead. This is a stressful time for a lot of people, especially when they realize that they are facing significant changes that they cannot fully prepare for or control.
Stress can also be associated with the pregnancy itself. Apart from having to deal with hormonal and physical changes, you may also be anxious about things like antenatal tests, especially if you’ve had a bad experience in the past, such as a miscarriage.
During pregnancy (during the ‘antenatal’ period) and after birth (during the ‘postnatal’ period), both women and men can experience mental health problems.
Certain conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, can be brought on by pregnancy for some people (less common). Pregnancy depression affects up to one to ten women and one in every twenty men. In addition, many women experience anxiety and depression at the same time during their prenatal period.
Certain factors can increase your chances of developing anxiety and depression while pregnant. Here are some of them: past or current problems with your mental health, feeling you don’t have enough support, going through a difficult time, such as a difficult time in your relationship, past or current abuse of any kind, and drug and/or alcohol problems.
For all expectant mothers and their partners, it is a good idea to keep track of their mental health and well-being throughout their pregnancy. Look for signs that you might require assistance and prepare to act if the situation calls for it.
If you’ve been feeling consistently bad (e.g. sad or worried) for more than two weeks, if you’re having negative thoughts and feelings that are starting to interfere with your ability to function normally, or if you’re showing signs of depression such as losing interest or feeling hopeless or unable to cope, then it’s time to seek advice from a healthcare professional. In addition, you may experience overwhelming anxiety or worry most of the time, which may result in panic attacks or the development of obsessive or compulsive behavior.
For more information on our maternal and mental health, check www.hacey.org.