Emotional Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is notorious for turning otherwise grounded, stable women into sobbing, angry, confused bundles of nerves.
Part of this emotional rollercoaster during pregnancy is completely natural and can’t be avoided – all the hormonal emotional changes during pregnancy simply can’t be helped, although they do wreak havoc on our emotions. First-time mothers are especially prone to feeling overwhelmed and intimidated, since they have never dealt with this type of hormonal upset before. Remember to keep in contact with family and friends who have gone through pregnancies, in order to get a different perspective on what you’re feeling.
Since a little bit of emotional upheaval is to be expected during a pregnancy, it’s often very difficult to tell if what you’re experiencing is normal, or whether it’s something that might benefit from professional help. Here, we’ll review the most common emotional symptoms during pregnancy, as well as symptoms that require your doctor’s input.
Although this question is difficult to answer since each woman responds differently to pregnancy, there are some general guidelines you can follow. A pregnancy brings drastic hormonal changes in the body. Your responses to these changes may feel a bit like PMS, since many of the same hormones are involved. You might feel irritable, angry for no reason, sad for no reason or even jump from sad to elated to angry within a frighteningly short amount of time.
While these symptoms can be unnerving, they are, for the most part, a normal part of pregnancy. If anything is bothering you, don’t hesitate to bring it up the next time you see your doctor. They can let you know whether it’s something normal, or something that requires extra attention.
In general terms of mental health, anything which makes living your life difficult or impossible warrants immediate medical attention. During pregnancy, some women feel so depressed that simply getting out of bed becomes a challenge. Others find themselves so filled with rage that they begin lashing out at those around them. Still others find themselves having frightening and uncharacteristic suicidal thoughts.
If anything similar is happening to you, see your doctor immediately. Pregnancy can worsen any existing mental issues, such as depression or anxiety. In some women, it can bring on these issues. Addressing your feelings is crucial. There are many options. Some anti-depressants have been approved for use during pregnancy, and there are many natural techniques you can look into for stabilising your mood.
Pregnancy is a very emotional time. It’s a good idea to practice some regular mood-enhancing activities, such as taking a walk each day (if your doctor approves the exercise). Keeping up your social life is great for releasing stress and making sure that you don’t feel disconnected. Devote time to hobbies you enjoy, as this is a time-honored way of naturally reducing the effects of stress on the body and mind.
If things seem “off” in any way, or if you find yourself having thoughts which are very out of character for you, see a doctor right away.