There is no doubt that pregnancy is an exciting time, filled with milestones and exciting decisions. It does, however, come with significant responsibility for the mother. Not only do you need to take care of yourself, but you are now responsible for the health of another human being. In addition to your physical health, it is important for you to focus on your mental health as well.
Take Stock of Your Emotional State
Pregnancy brings with it waves of hormones that may trigger or increase emotional responses in expectant mothers. See a touching commercial on the television? You may be surprised to feel a little teary. The food you were craving isn't available? You may become angrier than you expected. As you begin to think about and plan for life with your new little bundle, you may experience increased anxiety.
While these heightened emotions are common, it is important to be in tune with how you are feeling. If you find that you are dealing with any of the following, it may be time to seek additional help:
- Persistent sadness;
- Anxiety that you can't shake;
- Excessive sleeping;
- Loss of interest in activities you once found enjoyable; or
- Feelings of worthlessness or shame.
Seek Out Support When You Need It
Take a moment to think about the support network you have in place. It likely includes either a significant other, family members, or your doctor. Any of these people are a great place to start for help. They can help you put together a plan for feeling better. Some options could include:
- Many therapists specialize in working with pregnant and postpartum mothers. Postpartum Support International provides local resources for perinatal resources throughout the United States.
- There are medications to treat mood disorders that are approved for use during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor to determine what (if any) medication is appropriate for your situation.
- Building a practice of mindfulness can help center you and release any tension. Consider trying out a meditation app or finding a yoga class for expectant mothers.
- Seek out a community of other expectant mothers. They will be able to relate to your struggles and help normalize feelings you may be having.
Remember that the most important component to having a happy baby is having a happy mother. Take care of yourself while you are waiting for baby and after their arrival!
- Monitoring Your Child's Mental Health
- Helping Hands of Trauma-Informed Care
- Mental Health and the Anxiety Economy
- Outsmart Anxiety in 5 Steps for Better Sleep
- A Bad Work Day is not the End of the World
- Give Positive Career Direction to Others
- Smartphones Can Cause Anxiety in Toddlers and Teens
- Quick Fixes For News Feed Anxiety
- Laziness or Depression - Why You Can't Things Done
- Why Depression Frequently Goes Unnoticed