Perinatal Mental Health

It is not uncommon to experience emotional changes during a pregnancy. After all, your body is going through a variety of dramatic changes. It would be stranger if you didn’t feel a little different. However, if you are nearing the last few weeks of your pregnancy and have noticed that your moods are extremely low, your worries are persistent and severe, or other mood issues seem to be interfering with your day-to-day functioning, you may need perinatal mental health care. Learn more about common mental conditions during pregnancy and see how the appropriate perinatal care for your needs can help.

Depression and Anxiety: Common Signs

While mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder can all occur during pregnancy, two of the most typical conditions that arise are depression and anxiety. Since they are not uncommon, it is important to recognize the signs of both so you can pursue healthy methods of treatment as soon as possible. If you are experiencing depression, you will likely notice that you are feeling sad, irritable, or despondent for weeks or months at a time. It is quite common for depression to surface during pregnancy, especially if you are having mixed feelings or concerns regarding your situation or the lifestyle changes you have had to make. Anxiety is more likely to cause you to feel extreme worry or stress about situations that may never occur. Your fears may be unrelated to your pregnancy, or you may be worried about your child’s health, delivery day, or numerous other factors related to your pregnant state. While depression and anxiety can occur due to situational factors, as mentioned above, hormonal changes and a history of mental illness can also cause perinatal mental health troubles.

Treatment Options

If a physician diagnoses you with depression or anxiety, there are some options that will be discussed to help you improve your mental wellness as part of your overall perinatal care plan. Medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes are all ways that your healthcare provider may suggest to improve your condition. Some medications used to treat anxiety and depression can interfere with a growing baby’s health, so be sure to have a serious discussion with your doctor about any prescription’s benefits and potential side effects. Also be sure to follow your doctor’s orders, and never take more or less medication than prescribed. Talk therapy is another option for many pregnant mothers. If you have a lot of worries or mixed emotions about your pregnancy, group therapy with other moms-to-be or discussing personal concerns with a social worker may greatly assist you in alleviating some of your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your condition, exercise, meditation, or talking to a trusted friend may help improve your moods. Lastly, getting proper perinatal care during your pregnancy will help ensure that your and your baby’s well-being is taken care of, especially if you are facing a high-risk pregnancy and need to consult with a perinatologist.

Mental health conditions can be hard to handle alone, especially while pregnant. Making sure that you have a team of caring medical professionals on your side and seeking the best treatment options for your situation can start you on a path to better health for you and your child now and in the future.

Do you need dedicated, professional perinatal care to help you through your high-risk pregnancy? Arizona’s Valley Perinatal Services has a team of specialists to help you before, during, and after labor. Contact us online or at (480) 756-6000.