In This Article
In This Article
Pregnant women, new mothers, or pregnant couples are often expected to be blissfully happy.
Society, by and large, assumes that future parents adjust to their new roles easily.
This is not always the case. Aside from other pregnancy issues, mental health problems are surprisingly common during and after pregnancy.
No wonder many new parents seek help from therapy.
Challenges associated with pregnancy and childbirth are numerous.
Even if the pregnancy is planned, expecting mothers or pregnant couples often feel insecure about their abilities to raise a child properly.
They may even regret their decision to get pregnant.
Also, hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause:
Many expecting mothers also fear the upcoming childbirth.
A new baby can also give rise to unexpected challenges in the parent’s relationship. For example, the father may feel left out when mom is focusing so much on the new baby, and a new mom may feel insecure about her looks after pregnancy.
If you feel depressed, anxious, or stressed during pregnancy, know that you are not alone dealing with such pregnancy issues.
Approximately 1 in 5 women have some kind of mental health problems while they are pregnant or after they have given birth, according to a study conducted by Dr. Howard and colleagues published in the Lancet.
Such pregnancy issues are especially common among women who had been diagnosed with a mental disorder before pregnancy, and especially common among women who stopped taking their psychiatric medication while pregnant.
If you were diagnosed with a mental disorder before you got pregnant and you are on medication, please see your doctor right away.
Some medications can be harmful to your developing baby.
However, in most cases, a new, baby-friendly medication can easily be found.
Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. Your mental health is important not only for you but also for your baby.
Mothers who suffer from mental health problems also unintentionally put their children at risk for mental and physical health problems.
Severely depressed expecting mothers, for example, seldom eat well and frequently miss their appointments with the doctor.
Not surprisingly, studies show that babies born to mothers with untreated mental disorders are not as healthy as those born to mothers without such problems.
The same applies to mental problems experienced after the birth of a child.
It has been shown, for instance, that children that grow up with depressed mothers are:
Even so, mental health problems during and after pregnancy are treatable concerns, and a combination of therapy and medication or even therapy alone typically brings fast results.
There is no reason to feel guilty about feeling depressed or anxious while pregnant, but not seeking help for these issues can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
Unplanned pregnancy counseling is highly effective in helping teen moms overcome fear of pregnancy.
Frequently, teen moms would benefit from supportive therapy either alone or in a group with other teen mothers. A pregnancy therapist can provide them with the required emotional support during pregnancy and render the right help for single pregnant mothers.
The goals of this kind of therapy or teen pregnancy counseling can be:
In addition to solving pressing concerns for teen mothers, group therapy is an excellent way to provide them with stress relief during pregnancy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have been shown to be highly effective with teen moms.
Unfortunately, approximately about 12 to 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and about 1 percent of pregnancies result in a stillbirth.
Not surprisingly, approximately 30 to 50 percent of women experience anxiety and 10 to 15 percent experience depression after these tragedies.
To recover from such a loss, the help and support of other women who have gone through the same kinds of problems are often helpful.
That is why group therapy, especially when combined with individual therapy, is often helpful to mothers who experienced severe complications during pregnancy or childbirth or lost their child.
Various forms of therapy or pregnancy counseling greatly help future and new parents regardless of whether they are experiencing pregnancy issues or struggling with pregnancy goals.
Whether you are a single pregnant woman or a pregnant couple, do not hesitate in reaching out to a prenatal counselor for prenatal therapy.
Here are just a few suggestions:
Mindfulness-based therapies are great for mothers who struggle with stress.
They teach future mothers to be fully present in the moment without worrying about the future or the past. Meditation techniques and various other mindfulness practices are easy to follow at home as well. They equip the mothers with the right skills to overcome pregnancy challenges and experience stress relief during pregnancy.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) aims to help a mom to accept certain things that cannot be changed such as pain related to childbirth or reduced time that the mother will have for herself after the baby has been born.
Marriage problems during pregnancy and insecurities during pregnancy figure as common pregnancy relationship problems.
During pregnancy therapy, a marriage or pregnancy counselor specializes in helping future parents strengthen their relationship before the baby is born.
These types of pregnancy therapies are great for teaching better communication skills. Pregnancy counselors guide new mothers to ask for what they want and need, set better boundaries, and improve their sexual relationship before the baby is born. Happy couples make better parents!