Are you mentally prepared to be pregnant? How do you ensure you have good psychological health during the prenatal period? In most cases, people mainly focus on physical factors such as eating the right foods but forget to prepare themselves mentally when trying to conceive. Pregnancy is a delicate period for a woman and her unborn baby. It can be an overwhelming experience for women and thus, it is important to sign up for a birthing class.
Signing up for a birthing class is very easy. There are many online birthing classes you can sign up with, for instance, online birthing classes from Hearth and Home, where you can get information in both midwifery and OB care. The classes reduce the chances of surprises which will greatly affect the woman both physically and emotionally.
In this post, you’ll learn how to prepare yourself mentally before conceiving:
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1. Understand Your Risk Factors
New mothers are likely to be affected by postpartum depression. Research shows that depression is the main cause of non-obstetric hospitalisation. You should, therefore, find ways to prevent and treat the disorder as it will have far-reaching impacts on both the mother and infant. What steps can you take before conceiving to lower the chances of having this disorder? Understanding the risk factors associated with postpartum depression might help. While it might not be possible to predict who and who will not be affected, being aware of risk factors will help you recognize the first signs of this condition. Symptoms include tearfulness, suicidal thoughts, etc. However, some women are at a high risk of contracting this disorder. The factors that contribute include:
- Having a history of anxiety and depression.
- Having had a past incidence of PPD.
- Marital conflict.
- A family history of PPD.
2. Know What to Expect
Despite being prepared and having a plan, sometimes pregnancy can be unpredictable and those plans might not apply. Preparing mentally implies building an understanding of what you can expect during the prenatal period. In most instances, pregnancy will include both the unexpected (pica, and nausea) and expected (weird food cravings, aches, pains, and weight gain). Before you conceive, be sure to learn more about the common symptoms associated with pregnancy as well as some of the less common complications you might experience. All these can be learned from books, birthing classes, blogs, websites, and parenting magazines, but you should be aware of the unexpected which might still happen. Be sure to learn about the ins and outs of the pregnancy before getting pregnant.
3. Seek Social Support
During the prenatal period, having strong social support from either partner, family or friends is important. Social support during pregnancy and after giving birth plays a key role in a mother’s postpartum mental health. How does social support improve birth outcomes by lowering the chances of preterm birth? Social support reduces stress and anxiety as well as improving the stress coping mechanisms. A study conducted in 2015 showed that social support acts as a buffering mechanism between premature delivery and prenatal stress. What can you do to have emotional, informational, and tangible support that you need before, during, and after pregnancy?
Communicate with your partner. You and your partner should invest your time and effort to strengthen your relationship. Talk about your concerns and ask for help when you need it. Learn from friends and family. Pregnancy can be a challenging experience especially when you are dealing with complications such as morning sickness or other medical problems. Be sure to talk to your friends and family when you suspect something isn’t right.
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4. Recognize that Your Emotional Health is Important
In most cases, more focus is given to the physical health of a woman while neglecting mental wellbeing. Getting pregnant can significantly change a woman’s life. It requires psychological adjustments that can have significant effects on the emotional health of a woman. Emotional stress will not only have negative outcomes on the mother but to the newborn as well. Babies born to mothers who have experienced major anxiety and stress during pregnancy have a high chance of having birth complications such as low birth weight, low neonatal status, prematurity, and poor intrauterine growth.
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Be sure to talk to your doctor about your stress concerns before you conceive. It can be an opportunity to address any concerns and doubts you might have regarding the pregnancy and set the stage for better wellness both before and after birth.