Maternal Mental Health Questions and Answers
At Aroma Functional Nutrition Psychiatry, we specialize in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We understand that this is a very special time in your life and your mental health will fluctuate during this time. We are here with you every step of the way offering safe, effective strategies for you and your baby. For more information, please call us. We are conveniently offering virtual appointments.
What is a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder?
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) refers to the mental health of women both during their pregnancy, called the prenatal period, and in the first year following the birth of their baby, known as the postpartum period. For some women, they are able to easily adapt to the changes that come with having a baby, while other women struggle both physically and mentally with the changes that are happening. Pregnancy causes changes to a women’s physical shape as the baby grows and develops, and the body makes room for the baby and prepares to give birth. There also changes to their hormones, which will impact every woman differently. Depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis are the most common maternal mental health concerns for women who are pregnant or have just had a baby. Mental health disorders affecting women during this stage of her life can have devastating consequences not just for her, but her baby, her family and society as a whole if left untreated.
Why is maternal mental health important?
Maternal mental health is important as it can have heartbreaking consequences if left untreated. Women who are suffering from a maternal mental health issue can pose a threat to themselves, their baby, their family and society when they are not able to receive the care and treatment they require. Postpartum depression can affect women after the baby is born and is a serious illness that can cause sadness, difficulty concentrating, inability to enjoy activities that were previously enjoyable and can cause struggles in bonding with the baby. Anxiety both during pregnancy and postpartum can lead to restlessness, inability to sleep, racing heartbeat and extreme worrying about all of the “what ifs” of having a new baby. This can impact a woman’s ability to care for her child for fear of something happening or that she will do something wrong. It can also affect the likelihood of her leaving her baby in the care of anyone else, including her partner, while she takes a break, in case something goes wrong with the baby while she isn’t around.
Can pregnancy affect your mental health?
Pregnancy can absolutely have an effect on your mental health for a variety of reasons. During pregnancy, women’s bodies are changing as their body makes room for the baby, causing clothes to not fit, experiencing morning sickness, general discomfort and other changes that may occur as a result of the little human growing inside. All of these physical changes can impact a woman’s mental health as she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin and potentially feels self conscious about her appearance. Hormones also change and shift which can make women more emotional and increase their likelihood of depression both during and after pregnancy. The hormone shift from being pregnant to giving birth can cause the baby blues in women, which is normal, but can develop into depression in some cases. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects many new months in the weeks and months following birth, when the baby blues don’t go away.
Can your mental health be affected after you have a baby?
Yes, a woman’s mental health can be impacted following the birth of her baby. Depending on the birth, some women can experience post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, from the birth itself which can cause mental health issues. The hormone shift that happens during the change from being pregnant to having the baby delivered can also mean the baby blues which may develop into some form of depression in some women. The likelihood or risk for a woman to develop mental health disorders after having the baby can be affected by previous experience with any of the maternal health disorders, a family history of depression or mental health issues or a lack of support from family, friends or their community. Women can feel isolated following the birth of their baby, particularly if they are used to being social and active, due to the unpredictability of a baby’s schedule and the lack of sleep that many new moms suffer from. The good news is that help is available and new moms don’t have to suffer alone. There are support groups available, as well as medical services through your family doctor or your OBGYN to help you get the support and treatment you need. Our team of leading healthcare professionals at Aroma Functional Nutrition Psychiatry Services are here to help you with your mental health and we offer a number of treatments, so reach out to us today. We are helping many women in the local community with maternal mental health, and we are here to help you! We serve patients from Las Vegas NV, Henderson NV, Summerlin NV, Boulder City NV, Mount Charleston NV, Indian Springs NV, and Mesquite NV. Looking forward to serve you!