Taking Care Of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy


Mental illness during the pregnancy in the first trimester will be higher than in the second and third trimester.

Pregnancy is an emotional state for women, while pregnancy anxiety, mood changes, and depression are common for physiological and hormonal changes.

Those women suffering from severe psychiatric illness symptoms are not taking proper care of before and during pregnancy. The result of that there may be a chance of fetal distress, low birth weight baby, and growth retardation.

Mental illness in pregnant women may get depression, high blood pressure, low sugar level, and respiratory distress-like symptoms.

The majority of mental illness episodes during pregnancy are neurosis with anxiety, phobic anxiety, and OCD. 

Read this post to learn more about Mental illness in Pregnancy: All About Mental health in Pregnancy

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Puerperal mental Disorder

  • As many as 16 % of mothers develop a mental illness, puerperium is more significant than others.
  • Many factors lead to puerperal mental illness, such as the lack of confiding relationships and support, marital tension, socio-economic problem, and previous psychiatric history.

Must read for better and healthy pregnancy: Pregnancy Tips | Pregnancy Care

The common puerperal mental disorder is:

1)Postnatal blues

  • Postnatal blues is a limiting condition after childbirth and lasting up to two weeks with no known severe after-effects.
  • In postnatal blues, the mother is having anxiety, mood swings, and irritability.
  • Most of the women recover from the blues within the third and tenth postnatal days.
  • It is considered a normal reaction to childbirth and affects about 70 to 80% of all postnatal mothers.

Read: Care and Treatment Of Women During Pregnancy | Aims Of Antenatal Care

Causes of postnatal blues:
      • Lake of love, care, and affection from the family
      • Marital conflicts
      • Emotional problem
      • Stress factors
      • Societal pressure
      • Financial problems
      • Too much possessiveness about caring for a child 
Signs and symptoms of postnatal blues:
  • The women experiencing unfamiliar episodes of crying
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • emotional liability
  • feeling separate 
  • distant from the baby
  • insomnia 
  • Poor concentration.

Mut read pregnant women for healthy pregnancy: Focused Antenatal Care Planning And Providing Care During Pregnancy

  • Provide support, counseling, reassurance, and information communicated in a caring, intelligible way.
  • If it is a substantial risk of relapse if the women’s medication is withdrawn, this risk must be weighed against that of drugs having a teratogenic effect on the fetus. 
  • Encourage adequate sleep.
  • To avoid alcohol, substance abuse.
  • Seek help from family and peers, do not take over the burden. 

I recommend you to read following posts that will help you in healthy pregnancy: What Is Folic Acid Used For?: What We Need To Know

2)Postpartum depression

  • Postnatal depression is the most frequent neurotic disorder during the postnatal period.
  • It is more intense than the postpartum blues
  • The onset is within the first postpartum month, often returning home and usually between day three and 14.
Causes of postpartum depression
  • After delivery, there are hormonal changes in progesterone and estrogen that can lead to depression.
  • The thyroid can also cause mental irritability, exhaustion, and depression.
  • Emotional issues like more concern about baby’s care, labile mood
  • Struggle for that own identity
  • More concern about the body’s shape and figure.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Inability to cope
  • Tiredness, irritability
  • Anxiety loss of energy
  • lack of interest in usual activities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Counseling
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Antidepressants like amitryptiline and tricyclic drugs
  • Good supervision and support

To learn more, you can read: Antidepressant Drugs List And Side Effects

3)Puerperal psychosis

  • Puerperal psychosis affects approximately 1-2 per 1000 births. Unmarried status, first-time pregnant, history of schizophrenia may predispose to puerperal psychoses.
  • In that patient is having fear, anxiety, and mood swing with psychotic symptoms, which is dangerous for the patient.
 Signs and symptoms of puerperal psychosis
  • Insomnia and early morning waking
  • Labiality of mood, sudden tearfulness, or inappropriate laughter 
  • Abnormal behavior such as restlessness, excitement, or premature withdrawal 
  • Suspiciousness and fear
  • Auditory hallucination
  • Break the touch with reality
  • Violent behavior
  • Suicidal thought 
  • Puerperal psychosis is one of the psychiatric emergencies. Admission to the hospital is always required due to the baby’s potential danger and difficulty dealing with the mother’s behavior at home.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy 
  • Antipsychotic medications, e.g., risperidone, olanzapine
  • Mood stabilizer drugs, e.g., lithium, carbamazepine 
  • Supportive psychotherapy 
  • If the women have suicidal ideation, then immediately take help from a doctor.
  • If the mother is taking antipsychotic drugs and giving breastfeeding to the baby, then contact the doctor because it may cause a dangerous effect on the baby.

Articles that you might be interested in: Hydatidiform Molar Pregnancy: What Is It? Everything You Need To Know

Do let me know in the comment box, how you have enhanced your mental health during pregnancy? And are you also wanted to learn more about treatments?

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