Pregnancy and Mental Health

Pregnancy can be a trying and stressful experience for any woman regardless of her age, experience, or number of children. Between the hormones, physical changes to your body, and the complete change in lifestyle, pregnancy can have both times of excitement and times of stress. A woman’s maintenance of her mental well-being is paramount throughout pregnancy for her own sake and that of her baby.

Here are some tips to ensure you are doing what you can to ease emotional stress during your pregnancy:

  • Establish & utilize a personal support system (Close family/ friends)
  • Choose an OB with whom you feel comfortable & safe
  • Attend regular prenatal doctor’s appointments
  • Engage in regular exercise (as approved by your doctor)
  • Maintain a healthy and energy boosting diet
  • Engage in self-care activities like prenatal massage
  • Speak up and ask or accept help from others!!

Personally, I am nearing the end of my third trimester with my second child. And I can tell you, it is a struggle (for even myself, as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor) to ensure I am following all of these guidelines. However, I acknowledge how crucial each of the elements listed above are for my own sanity and the health of my baby. So if you are a mother, or mother-to-be who has read the tips above and thought to yourself ‘Ha! Who has time for all of that?!’, you aren’t alone. Sometimes feeling alone in such a life changing situation such as pregnancy can be overwhelming. Utilizing the previously listed tips, joining support groups online through avenues such as Facebook or various pregnancy apps, and establishing with a therapist can all assist with the support & guidance that enables a healthy mother and child.

Another key to a happy and healthy pregnancy is utilizing your existing support apparatus.  For most, this is a spouse or partner.  Additional help from partners is an essential element to getting through a very challenging time. Here are some tips for dads/partners/caregivers:

  • Have patience with Mother-to-be
  • Don’t wait for her to ask: Offer assistance on a regular basis
  • Be present: Attend appointments if able or desired by Mom
  • Acknowledge emotional & physical needs
  • Let it go: Remember she has significant changes in hormones, so don’t harp on the little stuff
  • Show unconditional love: A woman experiences significant physical changes to her body during pregnancy and she may not feel as comfortable or confident as she was pre-pregnancy

If you or someone you care about is currently trying to conceive, pregnant, or recently postpartum and would benefit from emotional support through this time, give us a call. The therapists at Southwest Florida Counseling Center incorporate a warm and compassionate approach with clients allowing them to maintain successful emotional health. Give Judy a call today to get started (941) 391-1067, or request an appointment online through www.swfcc.net