There's a lot of talk about making sure women take care of themselves physically during pregnancy. But what about your mental health? Preparing to bring a life into this world can bring about a lot of emotional changes. There are concerns about your health and wellness. If you've had to deal with a miscarriage or still birth previously that can add fear and stress. You're also trying to prepare for all the different tests that are done during pregnancy as well and this can cause concerns for expectant moms.
What are some things that can lead to mental health issues during pregnancy?
Depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy. If you've had a history of one of these, your chances of developing a mental health issue is increased during pregnancy. Also, if you feel as though you don't have enough support or you're struggling with close relationships, you can also become anxious or depressed. There are also many other things that could lead to mental health issues so it's important to check in with yourself and be honest with what and how you're feeling. So what steps can you take to create a mental health plan?
Don't be afraid to talk to those around you!
A lot of women wear many hats and they feel as though they can't speak up about how they are feeling or what they are going through. Being anxious or worried while you are growing a life is absolutely normal. Don't be afraid to talk to your partner, close friends or family members if you are having some overwhelming feelings. You'd be surprised at what talking can do. It's a good idea to jot down people you feel safe with so you can turn to them when needed.
Continue to have fun!
Some people think that just because they are pregnant that the fun stops. It doesn't. This is the time to continue doing things that make you happy, as long as they are safe and within reason. Write down a list a things that you like to do and make a plan to keep doing those things. Make arrangements to meet up with friends or zoom with them since we are experiencing a Pandemic at the moment. If it brings happiness and laughter into you life (and is safe) go for it! Make a list of the things you enjoy doing so you'll always have something to refer to for fun!
I am big on journaling. I journal almost everyday about any and everything. It comes in handy for writing down and expressing your feelings and thoughts. Journaling helps you deal with and analyze your feelings in a safe manner. Journaling is also a way to help improve your wellbeing. Write down those feelings that you're having. Your journal is your safe place!
Find a doula or pregnancy coach!
Why? They are there to support you and your partner during this entire process. They not only provide educational support, but they can provide emotional and physical support as well. This is major! Especially for your partner. When your partner is educated about what to expect, they feel more secure and confident. This helps them better support you during the pregnancy, labor, and delivery process. So go ahead, look into hiring a doula or pregnancy coach. Need help finding one? I offer referral services to get you connected!
Know when to reach out for help!
We all have bad days. We all have days of doubt and worry. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Ask yourself questions and be honest. "Do I always feel this way?" or "Am I always thinking this way?" or " Do I only feel/think this way when I am upset or afraid?" If you find yourself always worrying, feeling sad, or being anxious/depressed more often than not, consider reaching out to your provider, doula, pregnancy coach, or midwife to determine what steps need to be taken.
Many people think or feel that having issues with mental health is something to be ashamed of. It IS NOT! Never be ashamed for being who you are or going through things in life. There is help out there for those who need it. Having a mental health plan in place can be a huge benefit to you during your pregnancy and beyond. Do you have a mental health plan in place or are you considering one? Comment or share your experience! Until next time, sending you peace, love, and light!
Tiffany Underwood - Prenatal Consultant