What Psychological Changes Happen During Pregnancy?

 What Psychological Changes Happen During Pregnancy?

What Psychological Changes Happen During Pregnancy?_ichhori.com

Pregnancy can be both a happy and difficult time in a woman’s life. When a woman gets pregnant her body goes through many changes. People have always focused on and talked about the physical changes that happen, not the psychological ones. It can bring a lot of feelings and not all of them are good. The mental aspect of pregnancy is largely ignored especially in India. And, not only in rural areas but in developed urban areas.

The mental effect of pregnancy rather than being ignored should be talked about. As physical health is monitored during the pregnancy regularly, the same should be done with mental health. For the good health of the baby, both aspects of health should be taken into cognizance equally.

The psychological changes you may experience can range from happiness to sadness to anxiety to depression. If you are experiencing bouts of depression and anxiety then you should either talk to your family or get help from some professional.

Pregnancy woes, fears and stress

Having a baby is a life-changing event and it is obvious to worry about the future. Many women have questions like:

  • How hard it is to give birth?
  • Will I be able to cope?
  • Will my baby’s health be fine?
  • Will I be a good mother?
  • Will this affect my relationship with my partner?
  • How will we manage our finances?
  • Can I resume work or my education afterwards?
  • Will I have a life outside of my children?
  • Will my pregnancy problems repeat in the next pregnancy?
  • Will my eating habits harm the baby?

All these thoughts and worries can have a negative effect on a pregnant woman’s mental status.

Psychological changes in pregnancy.

Mood swings are common during pregnancy. Almost all pregnant women experience these mood changes. But if you experience these changes to an extreme level then such as you are nervous or down all the time, it could be a sign of some deeper issue. You may get stressed over being pregnant, changes in your body during the pregnancy, and everyday worries can take a toll on your mental health.

As a result, some pregnant women may suffer from depression or anxiety:

·       Depression: When you feel sad or down or irritable for weeks and months at a time then you may have depression. Some women suffer depression before getting pregnant and it will carry on during pregnancy too. However, you may get depression during pregnancy or after pregnancy (postpartum depression). This may happen for a number of reasons; a woman isn't happy about being pregnant or is dealing with a lot of stress at work or at home, or a baby brings big life changes.

·       Anxiety: It is a feeling of extreme worry or fear over things that might happen in future. If you are pregnant for the first time many things are largely unknown to you. You may feel helpless and fear over how things might turn out. You might worry that you won't be a good mother or worry about the financial aspect of raising a child.

Other mental health disorders may include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic attacks where you get sudden and intense physical responses with a feeling of unexplained and paralyzing fear.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

How do changes in the body affect your mental health?

With many changes happening in your body due to pregnancy can also affect how you feel.

·       Some women may love themselves looking pregnant during their pregnancy period. It might make them feel strong and positive.

·       While others may not enjoy pregnancy or like how they look and feel.

·       You may be concerned about the weight you’re putting on and how long it will take to lose it.

·       The morning sickness might make you feel sick or tired all the time which will make you fed up.

If you are experiencing all these feelings then remember it is normal for your body to change and it may take some time to get back in your original shape. And, do not pay any heed to the popular media which constantly shows these seemingly perfect images of happy, healthy pregnant women having the time of their lives. The magazines and social media are bombarded with such pictures. But the reality is often very different and disappointing. Not every woman enjoys how pregnancy affects their body and makes them feel.

It’s natural to feel anxious and insecure about how pregnancy will affect your body. But it’s important to treat mental health concerns by asking for help. By not talking about any of the mental issues the mothers who are depressed, anxious, or have another major issues will not get the medical care they need.

If you are suffering from any mental health issues, talk with your doctor so you can get the help you need during and after your pregnancy.

How and Where to Get Help?

If you have these mental health problems and you are feeling anxious or depressed all the time then talk to a doctor, a counselor, or a therapist, and get help right away. The sooner the treatment will start, the sooner you'll feel better.

It may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about your overall health and any mental health issues you've had in the past. Your doctor should know your full medical history for coming up with the best treatment plan, in case anything comes up during or after your pregnancy

Treatment for Psychological problems

Treatment for mental health problems may include:

·       Prescription medicine: Treating mental health issues with prescriptions has been the way. But during pregnancy, it can be a little tricky to put women on medications. So, tell your doctor about your medical history and always talk to a doctor before you start taking or stop taking any medicines. If you already take any kind of medicine for your mental health issue and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, tell your doctor. Don't stop taking it yourself. Do it only when your doctor tells you to. Some medicines may adversely affect a growing baby, but at the same time stopping your medicine may make things worse. Your doctor will make a treatment plan that is best for you and your baby.

·       Therapy: With mental health problems medications is not the only answer. What might help is talking one-on-one with a therapist. It can be a great way to manage stress, deal with depression, and anxiety during pregnancy. And if one-on-one does not suit you, find a support group where you can share your concerns with other mothers going through the same thing which might help you. Talk with a social worker or counselor to deal with any money issues or worries over raising a child.

·       Other activities: Other activities that pregnant women may find relaxing and comforting are yoga, exercise, and meditation. If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed you should talk to a friend, family member, or a professional who can help you feel better.

Many women may feel anxious or depressed during their pregnancy, and some may even require treatment for it. But a mental health problem doesn't have to stay a problem for you or your baby. Get the desired help to feel better, and it will be beneficial for both you and your baby.

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