Let’s talk about Mental Well-being during Pregnancy


Let’s talk about Mental Well-being during Pregnancy

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If you are mentally healthy, you will be in the best position to manage the challenges of pregnancy and life as a whole. About 15% of the women will have anxiety or depression during pregnancy and even larger in number during the postnatal period.

Depression and anxiety are the most common conditions. Up to 1 in 10 women and 1 in 2 men experience antenatal depression. Baby blues are very common, affecting about 75% to 80% of new mothers. This is due to rapidly changing hormonal levels after birth.

Preparing for a baby to come into your life is not only an exciting time but also a challenging one. Don’t be surprised if you experience some emotional changes during this time, it’s normal to have some worries and fears about what’s coming.

You may feel quite stressed particularly when you know it’s a big change that you can’t fully prepare for or control.

In addition, dealing with hormonal and physical changes, you may feel stressed about things such as antenatal tests, particularly if you have had a unpleasant experience previously.

Factors that may make you vulnerable:
• History of mental illness
• Lack of support from family, friends, and your partner
• Relationship or marital stress
• Past or current abuse
• Problems with drugs and alcohol
• Environmental stress

When is the right time to get help?
• Constantly feeling bad, upset, and worried (more than 2 weeks)
• Increase in negative thoughts affecting your daily functioning.
• Losing interest in activities
• Feeling hopeless and helpless
• Feeling anxious and unable to cope

Tips for managing your mental well-being during Pregnancy.
• Don’t expect too much of yourself, be realistic about what you can do, take a rest when you need to.
• Try not to make any major changes during this time like changing jobs, or houses as that can be an overwhelming process.
• Keep yourself physically active (check with your doctor before starting an exercise program)
• Eat healthily and keep yourself hydrated.
• Spend time with people who make you feel relaxed and good about yourself.
• Avoid using drugs and alcohol to deal with stress.
• Make connections with other expecting parents so you can support each other.
• Accept help when it’s offered to you, ask for it if you need it.