Your Mental Health Complete Guide When You Pregnancy

Six recommendations that can help you learn to love yourself.
Dec. 30, 2022

In broader discussions of pregnancy and mental health, most people might think about things like postpartum depression or postnatal depression. However, maternal mental health is something we should think about at all stages of a woman’s pregnancy – before conception, during pregnancy, and the period around birth – aka, perinatal mental health. What are some common mental health problems that can occur in pregnancy, and how can they impact the baby and mom-to-be? This article will give an overview of just that, including things you can do to support your mental health or the mental health of a loved one during pregnancy.

Common Mental Health Issues That Can Occur During Pregnancy Several mental illnesses commonly occur during pregnancy. We’ve listed them below, along with a description of warning signs to look out for.

1. Depression and Mood Disorders

Depression and other mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, are common during pregnancy. Some estimates state that around 10% of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. Some risk factors that can increase the risk for depression during pregnancy are having a history of depression before becoming pregnant, financial issues, having an unwanted pregnancy, and not having a spouse or partner. Depression during pregnancy can sometimes go unrecognized amongst all the other physical and emotional changes a woman experiences. Some warning signs of depression and other mood disorders include:

  • Persistent low mood
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless
  • Not enjoying things you used to enjoy
  • Low self-esteem or fears of inadequacy around becoming a new mother
  • Thoughts of suicide
2. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety or OCD, are another common type of mental disorder that can occur during pregnancy. Maternal anxiety is very common and is estimated to impact between 20-30% of women during or after their pregnancy. It’s also common for some pregnant women to experience both depression and anxiety, which can create additional challenges. Some risk factors for anxiety disorders during pregnancy include not having a spouse or partner, lower levels of social support, a history of mental illness, and a history of pregnancy loss or complications. Much like depression, anxiety during pregnancy may go unnoticed amidst the typical worries and stresses that a pregnant woman experiences. How can you know if your worries are normal or a sign of an anxiety disorder? Some signs that it could be helpful to seek mental health services include:

  • Excessive, near-constant worry about your pregnancy.
  • Intrusive thoughts about childbirth or pregnancy loss.
  • Having a hard time relaxing.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep.
3. Eating Disorders

For people with a history of disordered eating, pregnancy can bring about a whole host of triggering experiences. One study found about a 10% increase in the rates of eating disorders among pregnant women. Eating disorders are particularly harmful during pregnancy as they can create complications for a growing baby, preventing them from getting the nutrition that they need. While it’s common to worry about your weight during pregnancy, some signs of eating disorders include:

  • Excessive exercise.
  • Preoccupation or excessive fear about gaining weight.
  • Avoidance of eating.
  • Binging on large quantities of food.
4. Low Self-esteem

When you are pregnant with low self-esteem, in addition to treating yourself badly, tend to look down on and belittle others. That is, they project their feelings about themselves onto others. In addition, they constantly seek the approval of others. Some warning signs of low self-esteem include:

  • Want to control others.
  • Suffer mistreatment by partners, colleagues, or friends.
  • Create dependent relationships with people, institutions, causes, or substances.
  • Have distorted thoughts.
  • Have feelings of self-dissatisfaction, self-hate, self-disgust, and contempt. Learning to love yourself protects you from mental illness.
5. Six Recommendations That Can Help You Learn to Love Yourself

Learning to love yourself is intimately linked with self-esteem. You can use a series of strategies to improve it, which are the following:

5.1 Speak positively to yourself

The way you talk to yourself has consequences. If you criticize and blame yourself continuously, you’ll feel bad. Now, if you treat yourself with respect and be aware of the language you use, you’ll feel much better.Judging yourself rigidly prevents you from growing and advancing. It’s important to learn to see your positive aspects and be happy for them, as well as accept your shortcomings. Trying to change them to be perfect is the same as pretending not to be human. Change is only possible if you accept them.

5.2 Take care of your body and soul

The body and soul cannot be separated. What is good for one is good for the other. This means that taking care of yourself both physically and spiritually will lead to well-being.

A balanced diet, a good night’s sleep, exercise every week
, listening to pleasant music, walking through nature, or having a candlelight dinner with someone important to you are some of the things that can make you feel better. Do any activity or hobby that nourishes your body and soul.
5.3 Don’t Compare Your Situation to Others

Every baby develops differently! Just because an influencer’s child started talking at the age of one doesn’t mean that your baby, who is beginning to find their words at two, is anything less than perfect. Also, remember that every parent is different. No matter if you choose to breast or bottle feed, you are doing a spectacular job! While it is hard, try not to compare yourself or your baby to others. Don’t take every attack personally, as hard as that is to do. Instead, focus on your baby’s amazing accomplishments. They will get to those development milestones when they are ready.

5.4 Treat mistakes as learning opportunities, instead of punishing yourself
Once you make a mistake it’s useless to punish yourself for it. We all make mistakes and must accept them as part of our lives. Yes, of course, it’s better if you don’t make mistakes, but pretending that you never do is lying to yourself. There’s a lesson behind every mistake, an opportunity to learn to do things differently. It’s better to focus on the lesson, instead of beating yourself up about it.
5.5 Kick contradictory messages to the curb
A contradictory message is a compliment and criticism at the same time. It’s very common for people with low self-esteem to do this. For example, a contradictory message could be “You did this well, but you took forever to do it”. Kick these contradictory messages to the curb and turn them into grateful self-compliments. Just drop the criticism. For example: “I feel really good about the work I did” . Go to a healthy place, build healthy relationships, and do healthy activities. Healthy places are where you recover your serenity and pleasure of living. They can be mountains, the sea, a park… Now, if you stay at home, surround yourself only with what is useful and pleasant. If you need to, reorganize your house. In some way, this will help you reorder your life.
5.6 Healthy relationships and healthy activities
Healthy people are those whose presence and company give you peace and energy. Connect with people you’re comfortable with and avoid toxic relationships. On the other hand, healthy activities are pleasant activities that give you the necessary strength to cope with the stress of everyday life. Reading a good book, watching a movie, playing sports, or just resting are examples of this. As you can see, learning to love yourself is fundamental. Now, like all skills, it requires dedication. Supporting, taking care of, and valuing yourself is essential to good emotional health. It’s how you can build a happy life.
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