Why Is There a Need for Pregnant Mental Health Programs?

Pregnancy radically alters the functioning of a woman’s body. While it is undoubtedly a joyful occasion, being pregnant also puts a lot of strain on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. As such, mental health can take a direct hit when the body simultaneously goes through physical ailments, sleep disruptions, and hormonal shifts. Hence, you must focus on your mental well-being during pregnancy. Due to these reasons, programs on pregnant mental health in Florida are increasingly gathering steam among new mothers. And here’s why you need to take care of your mental health, especially during pregnancy:

Need for Mental Health Care for Pregnant Women

According to an independent study, expectant mothers tend to suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression in the early pregnancy stages. And the concept of postpartum, perinatal, and prenatal depression are so interchangeably used that they have become a barrier to help-seeking expectant mothers’.

With your body changing round the clock, disrupted sleep, exhaustion, and continuous rise and fall of hormones, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times. However, if these symptoms occur frequently, then it’s imperative that you consult your doctor immediately. As such, below is a list of symptoms that indicates that you might be going through the early stages of depression:

  1. Feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty.
  2. Constantly irritated.
  3. Feeling empty, anxious, or sad.
  4. Restless or experiencing constant fatigue.
  5. Headaches, pains, cramps, and aches.
  6. Insomnia.
  7. Suicidal or indifferent to your favorite leisure activity

Difference Between Prenatal, Perinatal, and Postpartum Depression

Depression occurring during the early stages of pregnancy is called prenatal depression, while perinatal depression can occur after or during the pregnancy. As for postpartum depression, it usually occurs after delivery or somewhere around a year after childbirth.

So each of these conditions, if not taken seriously, can be detrimental to the health of both child and mother. Depression can affect any expectant mother irrespective of their culture, age, or education. And there are no specific preconditions that trigger these symptoms among pregnant women. Although pregnancy can be considered a contributing factor, there’s no empirical evidence behind the occurrence of mental health disorders. Therefore, it’s essential that you notice these signs in the early stages and seek help. And below is a brief on each condition for you to better grasp the difference:

Prenatal Depression

Prenatal depression development is a concept of much research. There’s no definitive cause as to why some mothers develop prenatal depression while others don’t. Researchers are also exploring the intersection of hormonal change, social stressors, and genetic predisposition to find a plausible cause for this condition. As such, symptoms of these mental conditions are usually hidden during their early stages. Hence, you should explore therapy options during the early stages of your pregnancy to keep your mental health stable through the perinatal duration.

So, there are various programs on pregnant mental health in Florida that you can try to decrease the risk of developing prenatal depression.

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal depression occurs after or during pregnancy, and it’s one of the common mental health complications that new mothers often go through. Symptoms of perinatal depression include severe mood disorders, depressive feelings, postnatal depression, and maternal depression.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is not a hoax and is more severe than your ‘baby blues.’ This medical condition occurs after childbirth and can hinder a mother’s functional ability.

Symptoms of PPD vary from person to person and can fluctuate within minutes. And some of the common symptoms of PPD are severe mood swings, exhaustion, unexplained sadness, indifference to the baby, and feeling guilty for not being happy.

Counseling sessions and emotional support during pregnancy significantly reduce the risk and severity of mental health conditions. Meanwhile, pregnancy has a natural impact on your mental health; however, it shouldn’t lead to depression. And even if it does, do not get disheartened, for it’s not untreatable.

Following your treatment guidelines and implementing coping strategies will allow you to improve your overall mental health. And it will also keep you and your child healthy.