Coping With Mental Health Issues During Pregnancy
Many women struggle now and then with feeling mentally drained and emotionally stressed.
Pregnancy is an exceptional situation, physically and emotionally, which may create an additional drain on your emotional resources.
With sufficient support, kindness to yourself, and an awareness of your strengths, you will recognize what path is right for you.
💪 What am I good at? Strengths Finder Test
Emotionally Drained… and Expecting
You may have gone through a lot recently and have had more on your plate than usual. Or perhaps you feel as if you have lost your joy. Maybe you feel down from time to time.
So far, you might have managed without medication or counseling. But at times you might feel almost maxed out.
Or maybe you have been living with a mental health diagnosis for a while.
Perhaps your emotional exhaustion stems from your empathetic nature. Are you intuitive about the feelings of others? Do you sense what they are going through and bear some of their burdens? This can lead to mental exhaustion, causing you not to feel like yourself.
And now that you are pregnant, it is only natural for concerns and anxiety to arise. The information in this article is for your encouragement, providing ideas on how to deal with this new situation.
Pregnancy — a Transitional State
Pregnancy is a profound experience. For many women, this brings their emotions out of balance. Concern and elation can alternate from one moment to the next. This teeter-totter of emotions in early pregnancy is mainly caused by hormones. It is completely normal. The changes in hormone levels can lead to tiredness and nausea, as well as rumination and a lack of joy.
👍 Fortunately this usually only lasts a few weeks.
This emotional roller coaster can be particularly challenging for women who quickly feel out of kilter — especially if the pregnancy has been unintended.
⛅️ Some women face prenatal depression. If you are experiencing an emotional low to an extent that feels unprecedented, you might find it helpful to read Depression During Pregnancy – Causes and Solutions.
👥 Pregnant: How does my personality type affect my pregnancy? Take the Personality Test
Symptoms of Emotional Stress
Oftentimes feelings of emotional stress predate the pregnancy.
Emotions are usually a good gauge for distress: feeling down, anxious, or overwhelmed.
You may have received a medical diagnosis, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or borderline personality disorder.
ℹ️ Since pregnancy is an emotionally and physically intense experience, it may cause symptoms to worsen. However, the opposite reaction is also possible. Some women draw new strength from their pregnancy, resulting in an improvement in their mental state.
🌤 Steps you can take to get out of the funk. Jump to our 5 mental health tips.
Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy
You may wonder whether you need to stop taking antidepressants, now that you are pregnant. You may also fear that your medication could have harmed the baby.
Most types of antidepressants do not have an adverse effect on the baby. Ask your psychologist and gynecologist about continuing your medication. On rare occasions, it may be necessary to switch to another antidepressant.
🧑 Do not quit your medication without consulting your doctor, as this may cause your symptoms to worsen. Your medical provider will help you decide what is best for you and the baby.
➡️ Wondering whether your medication is safe for the baby? Go to Mother to Baby.
Abortion for Mental Health Reasons?
A diagnosis of depression can be worrisome. Many women are concerned about being entrusted with a child's care while not feeling mentally and emotionally strong. They fear that a pregnancy could jeopardize their hard-won stability or push them beyond their breaking point.
Perhaps you can relate. And you may be considering an abortion for just that reason.
- ⚖️ Abortion: Yes or No? Take the Abortion Test and receive an immediate evaluation.
- 📝 Abortion: Pros and Cons – Take the self-evaluation or make a list to determine your long-term aspirations.
Many women considering abortion for mental health reasons sense that this could also trigger (increased) emotional distress.
Want to know more?
Don’t keep your struggles to yourself! You are worth all the help you can get! 💚 Seek support — from a professional counselor or good friends who can strengthen you right now. We would be honored to provide unbiased counsel! Digital Counseling Resources
Additionally, here are some steps you could take:
5 Steps Toward Mental Health in Pregnancy
The following steps may help you in addressing the challenging situation:
1. Give Yourself Grace 🧡
You are not expected to have an exact plan. It is completely understandable that you are still unsure how to deal with the situation. Your circumstances are probably far from easy. Your desire to discern a way forward reveals your courage and sense of responsibility.
Seeking answers is the first and most crucial step in finding a good solution!
2. Competent Medical Support 🧑⚕
Medical professionals frequently treat pregnant women suffering from emotional or mental distress. This is nothing unusual! Talk to your doctor about your specific concerns. You can choose whether to consult your primary care provider or your Ob/Gyn.
If you already receive mental health care, invite your therapist to contact your doctor. If you are not currently in counseling, but would like to be, ask your doctor for a referral.
Teaming up is especially needful when considering a prescription or a change in medication. Safe alternatives are available in most cases which work well during pregnancies and are not harmful to your baby.
Proper medical support may allow you to experience a completely "normal" pregnancy and a provide a foundation for a good start into motherhood.
3. Peer Support 🙌
People who are more sensitive by nature, often recognize who really cares. You may be able to think of empathetic people you could count on. Talk with them about what is going on for your own reassurance and comfort.
Don’t be afraid to open up about your hopes and dreams. Have the courage to ask for the help you need in raising a child. There are always situations in which we need to depend on others. Being able to accept help, rather than always giving it, is a sign of strength.
4. How Did You Manage in the Past? 👍
You are probably familiar with times when everything seemed bleak, or life was just plain hard. At the same time, you have somehow gotten through these times and mastered these phases.
Think about what it was that gave you strength in those situations. How did you recharge your batteries? What strengths did you discover within yourself? How can you implement some of these things right now?
5. Additional Resources
It would be unnerving to walk into the unknown without any support. You are not alone! Will you allow us to walk alongside you? Our digital judgment-free resources are tailored to your needs. Why not give them a try?
⛑ Wondering where to start? Take the First Aid Test
💡 Thinking through a specific issue? - Take the Solutions Finder Test
You may also like:
- How Do I Make a Good Decision?
- Resources for Parents
- Unplanned Pregnancy – Now What?
- Abortion Alternatives
- In case of worries about mental health issues, the Centre of Perinatal Excellence and Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia. A Mental Health Checklist is also offered.
- Emotions During Pregnancy: NCT First 1000 Days New Parent Support (27.12.2021).
- Mood swings and mommy brain – The emotional challenges of pregnancy: LiveScience (27.12.2021).
- Mental Wellbeing During Pregnancy: Pregnancy, Birth & Baby (27.12.2021).