When you find out that you are pregnant, you likely experience a mix of emotions and thoughts. This is true whether you planned your pregnancy or not, and sometimes the negative emotions can get overwhelming.

Maternal mental health issues can often be overlooked when the focus of all pregnancy health care tends to be physical. However, if you begin to feel excessive anxiety, depression, or already have a history of mental health issues, get to know more about what you can do to improve your maternal mental health and what treatment options and assistance are available to you.

Talk To Your Ob/Gyn

Sometimes, a part of the reason that a woman who is pregnant may experience high levels of anxiety is because they feel that they have no experts to talk to. A woman may feel that their ob/gyn is a resource they should use for medical questions only or they simply may not feel comfortable enough with their doctor to talk about their mental health.

While it is true that an ob/gyn is particularly well-versed in the physical aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, they work with women who are pregnant and postpartum every day, and also understand the mental health issues that can go along with pregnancy. They also can help you if you have a pre-diagnosed mental health disorder to be sure that your mental health treatment progress is not negatively affected by your pregnancy.

Your ob/gyn should be one of your primary resources for any anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems you develop while pregnant. You can also consult them if you are currently taking prescriptions for your mental health or are given new prescriptions while pregnant to ensure that your growing baby’s health is not adversely affected. Be sure to schedule an appointment with you ob/gyn (like those at All Women’s Healthcare and other offices) as soon as you notice any negative effects of your pregnancy.

Consult With A Doula

If you do not feel comfortable with your doctor or you want somebody that you can call any time for your pregnancy-related mental health struggles or worries, you can hire a doula to work with you throughout your pregnancy. Doulas are people who provide support, including emotional support, to pregnant women and their families all the way through the childbirth process.

They are often more accessible than a physician as they take on a limited number of clients at one time and can be a good sounding board to talk to about whatever questions or concerns you have during your pregnancy. Sometimes, just having that resource available to you can be enough to relieve much of your anxiety and stress.

Talk To A Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors can also be a great resource when you are experiencing maternal mental health struggles. These counselors can meet with you on a regular basis to talk about how you are feeling, develop coping strategies for your depression and anxiety, and give you a safe space to be open and honest.

Regular therapy sessions can help you to overcome and control your mental health issues during pregnancy so that your physical health and that of your unborn baby are not affected. There are mental health counselors available who specialize in maternal mental health and are particularly helpful resources to have at your disposal. These counselors can also provide references to psychiatrists who are able to prescribe medications for your condition if therapy and counseling alone are not sufficient.

Now that you know a few of the ways that you can take care of your maternal mental health and ensure your pregnancy is a healthy one, you can select the options that work best for you and focus on feeling better as soon as possible.