Mental Health During Pregnancy: A Guide
Florida is one of the most livable states in the United States. The beaches in the state have sandy stretches and swaying palm trees. Florida attracts people because it has a high quality of life and a low cost of living. And nearly 3.8% of adults in Florida suffer from mental health issues. Meanwhile, sometimes pregnant women develop mental health problems that affect their health and well-being. The most common issues are depression and anxiety, and these health disorders can cause poor bonding with the baby and difficulties in breastfeeding. As such, hospitals help in maintaining pregnant mental health in Florida and are accessible to women during pregnancy. It benefits pregnant women and their babies.
Pregnancy needs to be a happy and exciting time, but not all women feel that way. They have mixed feelings about being pregnant and find it difficult to cope with the changes that occur during pregnancy. Almost 15% of pregnant women are anxious or depressed during pregnancy. A mother’s mental health during pregnancy affects the baby. And when mothers have mental health issues, babies are more likely to develop high anxiety levels. In addition, anxious and depressed pregnant women smoke or drink alcohol which leads to lower birth weight of the babies.
Depression During Pregnancy
Below given are the symptoms of depression:
- Feel irritable or anxious
- Cry for no apparent reason
- Feel miserable all the time
- Reduced appetite
- Excessive fatigue
- Feel disconnected from the baby
These are the reasons for depression:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Irregular appetite
- Low self-esteem
- Inability to enjoy some activities
- Inability to cope with stress
Anxiety During Pregnancy
These are the symptoms of anxiety:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty staying calm
- Muscle tension
- Recurring worrying thoughts
These are the reasons for anxiety:
- Fear of childbirth
- Financial worries
- Fear of complications in pregnancy
- Fear of new responsibilities as a parent
- Pre-existing mental health issues
Baby blues are common in 80% of new mothers. Generally, women experience it three to five days after the child’s birth. It causes anxiousness, mood swings, and frequent tears. And baby blues are caused by changing hormone levels in a woman’s body after childbirth.
How to Manage Mental Health Problems
Pregnant women must seek help and support to handle mental health issues during pregnancy. Those women who do not get medical care for mental issues may start using alcohol and drugs, which harms the growing baby. As such, women should consult the following people to maintain good mental health during pregnancy:
A therapist: A therapist helps to deal with the feelings and cope with practical difficulties during pregnancy.
A psychiatrist: Psychiatrists prescribe medications to treat issues like depression and anxiety.
A social worker: A social helper advises about money management and housing assistance.
How to Maintain Mental Wellness
Sharing the Feelings
Pregnant women must share their feelings with their partners or loved ones and let them know how they feel. When they cannot cope with things, it helps if they have people who can understand their difficulties and support them.
All women are not the same, and their fatigue levels are also different. Since each woman is unique, they must set goals and expectations for themselves. They should never compare themselves with other women and be flexible to change their goals when they cannot achieve them.
Physical activity helps to reduce mental health issues. Women must do mild exercises, stretching, and walking to elevate their mood and stay healthy. It lowers the occurrence of gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes mellitus.
Several healthcare practitioners help women to maintain good pregnant mental health in Florida. Meanwhile, pregnant women must eat well, get enough sleep, exercise and take prenatal vitamins to stay healthy. They can successfully handle pregnancy with constant support from family, friends, and healthcare providers.