Life-changing nine months like no other. These are nine months of putting your life at stake for another human being. You see your body continually adjust every day, and it’s a scary yet exciting experience. While what people see are just the physical changes, the nine months of seeing your body accommodate another human being is also an emotional whirlwind. Mary L. Gavin, MD further supports this by saying that “Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. If you’re feeling worried, you’re not alone. Worry is common, especially during a woman’s first pregnancy or an unplanned one. It can be even harder if you’re dealing with depression or anxiety.”
Thus, more than the physical changes, preggos should also monitor their mental wellbeing. Check some of these key points about why mental wellness is vital for you and your baby.
Remember That Mental Wellbeing Is As Important As Physical Wellbeing
In the midst of all your baby preparations, you might be putting your life on hold. Your mental wellbeing should be of equal importance as your physical wellbeing. A majority of moms suffer from anxiety even before childbirth and don’t do anything about it. According to Joel L. Young M.D., “We do know that, left untreated, some mental health disorders can lead to women making unwise choices that compromise their health and their baby’s, such as drinking or using recreational drugs.”
If you are visiting your obstetrician at least once a month for your physical workup, why not visit your psychiatrist once a month as well? In doing this, you will be mentally prepared for the arrival of your baby.
Remember, your child also feels everything that you are feeling. If you are happy during your pregnancy, chances are your child will be a happy camper too. On the other hand, if you feel anxious most of the time about your pregnancy, your child’s mental and emotional development will be negatively affected as well. Katherine Wisner, MD reminds colleagues about treating patients, “If you’re going to treat a pregnant woman with a medicine, you owe it to her to treat her effectively, because the justification is reducing that disease burden. We don’t want to treat women partway. We want to reduce that disease burden fully.”
Prevent Postpartum Depression And After-Childbirth Issues
A lot of new mothers suffer from different mental health issues after childbirth. Due to their additional roles, trauma from childbirth, and taking care of a newborn, some moms even suffer from depression. If left unaddressed, postpartum depression can adversely affect both mother and child. Some mothers tend to take postpartum depression lightly. They think that the baby’s needs are more important than their own emotional wellbeing.
Do you remember the story about the mother who left her home out of the blue and went for suicide? However, this story is a concrete example of the reality of postpartum depression: unless you take action, depression can lead to suicide.
Put in mind that you cannot give the best care for your child if you are unwell. Don’t worry too much! There is still hope. As an expectant mother, you can still prevent postpartum mental health problems from happening to you.
What You Can Do
Now that you know that mental wellness is essential, especially for pregnant women, you might be asking: what should I do?
- Enjoy Your Time Alone
When did you have your last breather? Take time to relax and enjoy. Put your list of things to buy and things to do on hold. Appreciate your surroundings by going around your neighborhood. You can also go for window shopping in a mall.
- Talk To Your Husband Or Partner
If you are already overwhelmed with your upcoming responsibilities or you are anxious because of your growing belly, share your feelings with your husband or partner. You can discuss your worries with your partner over dinner or while doing your afternoon walk. You will surely feel relieved after.
- Eat Healthily
What you eat during your pregnancy also affects your emotional wellbeing. Try eating balanced meals every day and see how it changes your daily outlook.
- Sleep Well
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. If you have a full rest, you will feel more energized. Meanwhile, if you get less than 7 hours of sleep daily, your baby’s development will be affected.
- Seek Therapy
Going for therapy is one of the best decisions you can make for your mental wellbeing. When you have a trusted and professional confidante, you will feel more relaxed. Moreover, your therapist will help you ease into your new role as a mother.
In summary, maintaining mental wellness is needed by all pregnant women. While most pregnant women tend to focus on their physical health, mental wellness is essential in taking care of your baby. If you take care of your mental health during pregnancy, you can also prevent having mental health issues after your delivery.
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