Why Seeing a Psychologist During Pregnancy is Helpful
Most people know maternal health care involves: ultrasounds, physical check-ups, and a healthy diet. The truth is, pregnancy can be overwhelming to an expectant mother.
The constant worry of being a mother again or even a first-time mom affects expectant women psychologically. Psychologists can assist pregnant women by helping them deal and cope with pregnancy stressors.
Here are some of the reasons why seeing a psychologist during pregnancy is helpful
Dealing With Anxiety
A mother who has a pre-existing anxiety disorder may get more anxious during pregnancy. Some causes of anxiety may include financial struggles, the health of their unborn child, their body image, and also issues such as societal expectations.
Severe anxiety symptoms may cause headaches, digestive issues, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, and panic attacks. Individual therapy sessions for a pregnant woman are the best as prescribing medication can be risky for both the mother and child.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques such as getting a massage or yoga assist also help in dealing with anxiety.
Coping With Depression
Prenatal depression is prevalent, especially for women who have suffered from PMS. Several issues can also cause depression when pregnant, i.e., hormonal fluctuation, genetic history, and of course, if one has ever been diagnosed with depression.
Often psychologists discourage the use of medication and incorporate psychotherapy instead. Support groups also assist pregnant women in realizing that they are not alone. Resting is very healthy for pregnant women and putting chores on hold.
Processing Traumatic Experiences
Post-traumatic stress disorder, women who have experienced painful and difficult labor experiences may have birth trauma. Women who have had to give birth through a cesarean section unplanned can also be traumatized.
A psychologist will provide a woman dealing with PTSD a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment can be very effective. In treatment, the psychologist instructs you to make rhythmic eye movements as you remember the traumatic events, which helps with processing those events.
Accepting Unplanned Pregnancy
Getting pregnant without a plan can be stressful for a woman. Even if family, friends, and the father of the unborn child promise to care for them, the thought of being a mother can drain you mentally. A psychologist can assist by telling them their options and letting them choose what they are comfortable with. Pregnant women who have been abandoned are given the option to terminate the pregnancy during the early stages or put the child up for adoption.
Most of the options provided are not easy for a mother, but a psychologist offers counseling to assist the mothers in making peace with their decisions.
Coming to Terms With Pregnancy Loss
Having experienced a stillbirth or a miscarriage can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation. A psychologist will often conduct family therapy to show the woman that she is supported and allow people to feel her pain and loss.
It is essential to consult a psychologist to make sure your mental health as a pregnant woman is okay. There is no shame in seeking help from a psychologist regarding any psychological concerns you might have during your pregnancy.