Commonly Asked Questions About Mental Health During Pregnancy

mental health

Mental health and pregnancy

Even before you get pregnant you here about how well you have to start taking care of your health. Commercials stress the number 13 because you should see your health care provider by the time you are 13 weeks pregnant, and you should see them for thirteen visits. Everywhere you turn, you are hearing about how you have to take better care of your physical health because of how important it is to the baby. However, mental health is very rarely addressed, if it ever is with some health care providers. Despite it often being overlooked your mental health is also important and you must do everything you can to maintain it before, during, and after your pregnancy.

Here is a look at some of the most commonly asked questions regarding mental health and pregnancy.

How is mental health affected by pregnancy?
While some women might suffer from a mental illness before getting pregnant, others worry about one affecting them during their pregnancy or even a previous mental illness coming back and causing problems. Now pregnancy itself doesn’t cause mental illnesses to appear, nor does it prevent people from having mental health problems. In fact, studies show that women who stop taking their medication after becoming pregnant often begin having problems again. The symptoms a woman suffers during pregnancy are not going to be any different from the symptoms she suffered from before becoming pregnant. For example, if you have a history of depression, the symptoms will be the same as before.

However, a lot of women might notice that many of their symptoms focus on the pregnancy itself or on the newborn baby. The problem some women have is determining if the symptoms are pregnancy related or if they are related to their mental health. For example, pregnant women often have problems sleeping, which is also a symptom of depression. However, how your metal health is going to be affected during the course of your pregnancy is really going to depend on how you feel about your pregnancy and if you have dealt with any mental health issues in the past.

What if I had mental health issues in the past, but am doing fine now?
If you are pregnant and have previous mental health issues, it is imperative that you see a specialist as soon as possible. The reason for this is that even if you are doing fine now, there is no telling what will happen after the baby is born. Studies have shown that women who have had a serious mental health illness, but are currently doing fine, are at a higher risk of having issues once the baby is born. Seeking the advice of a specialist will allow to discuss the treatment options available to you, but they can also help you create a plan to help you cope throughout your pregnancy and after.

What treatment options do I have?
The type of treatment option that will work best for you depends on how severe your illness is, as well as what type of mental illness you have. However, the two most common types of treatments are medication and therapy. If you are opting for medication, you should talk with your mental health care professional, as well as your obstetrician about the medications and how they might affect your pregnancy. Your doctor is your best ally in going over the pros and cons of each medication to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.

What can I do to keep a positive mental well being?
Exercise and a healthy diet play a big role in mental health, as they ensure you get all of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs, but exercise has also been proven to be a mood enhancer. You should also allow other people to help you out as much as possible, if they offer don’t turn it down; this can help with feelings of being overwhelmed. Something else you need to do is get out and do something you enjoy at least once a week, as it can improve your mood and help you relax.

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