Mental health should be part of every woman’s birth plan.Here’s Why | Lauren Keegan

P.Pregnancy is a time of change and uncertainty. We plan to have a baby, we plan to have a baby, and neither outcome is fully controllable. What we know for sure is that one in five women suffers from perinatal anxiety. and experience depression.

I’m not saying that having a baby or planning a baby is unimportant.

Even plans that are subject to change can help women feel less anxious and have more control over their birth experience. 1 in 3 mothers experience childbirth as a trauma.

So, when the odds are stacking up against us, both in terms of mental health and childbirth experience, postpartum mental health should be integral to every woman’s birth planning.

Imagine this. I will have a baby soon. All you have to do is check off your “to do” list.

hospital bag? check.

Approval of maternity leave. check.

Home cooked food in the freezer. check.

mental health support plan. wait… what?

yes. Why not plan ahead? Postpartum mental health is something I talk to every pregnant woman in my clinical practice. increase.

And what are those risk factors?

Well, there are many. Being a pregnant woman is one of them. Women are more susceptible to mental illness during the perinatal period (from conception to 12 months postpartum) than at any other time in their lives. Although hormones are believed to play a role, perinatal psychosis is much more than just a “hormonal imbalance.”

At particular risk are symptoms of anxiety or depression during pregnancy, history of anxiety or depression, family history of mental health problems, trauma, grief and loss (including miscarriage) and a lack of practical experience. , social, and emotional support.

Given that one in five pregnant women meets criteria for perinatal mental illness at some point during the early stages of motherhood, mental health planning is a normal part of parenthood preparation. Why not? Especially when we know to “wait and see” The approach can be harmful to both mother and baby.

Why is early intervention important?

In addition to its effects on women, prenatal anxiety and depression can affect the developing fetus, and postnatal anxiety and depression can affect the mother-child relationship. Very sensitive and in tune with their primary caregivers. Early support for mothers may result in better outcomes for babies.

So how can you prepare for the postpartum period if you are expecting a baby?

Well, you know yourself best. What happens when you feel tired or stressed? Do you feel anxious or irritable? Are you sleeping a lot or not enough? Do we worry about things or feel emotions all over the place? Do we tend to withdraw from others or seek company? When overwhelmed, we tend to follow similar patterns of behavior. there is. So these are early warning signs.

Consider real support. Who cleans the house, does the laundry, cooks the meals? Surround yourself with someone who will take care of your “home” so you can recover from childbirth and bond with your baby. Also, if you can afford the cost without real support, you can hire a postpartum doula to help you after your baby is born.

Identify your emotional support (these may be different than the actual people seeking help). If you feel overwhelmed, are you likely to reach out to them? If not, arrange for them to check in on you.

If your friend says, “If you need anything, please contact me,” say: It would be best if you check in with me. Let your partner or other emotional support know what you need when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

If you don’t have someone you trust to confide in, know that you are not alone.

Perinatal support services are available directly or via Telemedicine across AustraliaTalking to a professional can help you with emotional preparation for childbirth and parenthood, preparation for coping with grief and loss, preparation for maternity leave, or any relationship or communication you would like to change when you become a parent. It helps us think about patterns in

Parenting presents many challenges, but planning what you can plan for and accessing support early can help minimize stress for your family. Let’s make it a normal part.

Lauren Keegan is a registered psychologist. Extensive perinatal experiencemother and Writer

in Australia, panda National Helpline 1300 726 306 Monday to Saturday Mental health should be part of every woman’s birth plan.Here’s Why | Lauren Keegan

Exit mobile version