Giving birth is a life-changing experience that will make you feel different emotions. Ups and downs are common in this period of your life because of the hormones in your body. However, if you feel constant sadness and nervousness all the time, it could be a sign of something deeper.
Looking after your mental health during pregnancy is highly important. If you are mentally well, you will enjoy this experience and be ready to manage the challenges that you will encounter during this time.
Surprisingly, both women and men go through mental health issues during pregnancy ( the antenatal period), or after birth ( the postnatal period).
Pregnancy might cause the following mental health problems:
Depression During & After Pregnancy:
Being depressed during or after pregnancy can have different underlying reasons. Firstly, as a woman, your body experiences various hormonal changes. When pregnant, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone start to be produced in their highest level. However, after giving birth, these two hormones will decline rapidly to their normal level before being pregnant. This hormonal change may cause depression. Moreover, the drop in thyroid hormones, which are located in the neck, may lead to depressed mood, problems with concentration and sleep, and gain weight.
Depression during or after pregnancy is divided into:
The Baby Blues
Many women experience the baby blues after giving birth. For most women, the baby blues are temporary and they will go after a few days without the need for medical treatment. Some of its symptoms include mood swings, feeling anxious, and readiness. It’s not really clear why women experience baby blues, but the reason behind it may be the rapid changes in the hormone level.
It is important to note that if those symptoms last for long, talking to a health professional is a must as it may be a sign of developing depression or anxiety.
Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect women during or after pregnancy. The term “ perinatal” means the period before and after childbirth. That is, it includes depression that starts during pregnancy (prenatal depression) and the one that begins after going birth (postpartum depression). Mothers with this kind of depression can experience severe sadness, anxiety, and fatigue. There is no need to be ashamed, try to seek help and talk with your doctor.
It is also called puerperal psychosis or postnatal psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental health issue that should be treated as a medical emergency. Its symptoms usually start within the second week after giving birth, sometimes within just hours or days of giving birth. Mothers suffering from it can feel confused, fearful, and inhibited. It also includes delusions (beliefs that are unlikely to be true), and a manic mood (talking or thinking too much and too quickly).
Mental health issues that accompany the process during or after pregnancy are completely natural as the body is experiencing extreme changes that can trigger the production of different brain chemicals that can result in depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, or fear.
You must seek professional assistance when things aren’t going well. Don’t panic or feel stuck because things will work out at the end and you will hold your baby born between your loving arms and will surely find the strength to fight against anything that can hold you against ensuring the wellbeing of yourself and your baby.