As women, once we decide to have a baby, our entire lives change not to mention our bodies and our overall outlook on life. During pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, we go through tremendous change, psychologically and physically. For the most part, these are happy times but there are possibilities of depression and emotional highs and lows for many.
Hormonal and physical change can make us vulnerable to emotional swings not to mention psychological change, too. Bouts of depression may increase during pregnancy. Much of our mental health during these times depend what the pregnancy means for you, how you handle your body’s physical changes and the state of your support system. Below are five ways to keep your mental state afloat and headed in a positive direction while your world is going through massive change.
1. Discover your new being and what kind of parent you would like to be – Once you come to terms with your new identity as a mom, your positive outlook and your understanding and acceptance of this new role can help resolve depression in pregnancy, yielding a happier postpartum.
2. Rely on family members close to your heart – A good support system is necessary to help you go through the many changes you will endure during pregnancy and postpartum. Strengthen your relationship with your Mom, sister, aunts and other female connections important to you. Female bonding, especially with those that are already mothers will help you maintain a sense of happiness and belonging. The relationship with your husband or significant other is also very crucial (See #4).
3. Discover your needs and take them seriously – Be sure to take care of yourself by seeking support whether it is with housework, career workload, family related issues and/or health issues that come up during pregnancy. Also pay attention to your mental health. If you start to feel uneasy or depressed, don’t be afraid to consult your physician and discuss with him/her the many opportunities to find and connect with support groups with other Moms that are feeling the same way. You will find that you are not alone. Whether it’s fear, lack of knowledge or depression, I guarantee there are other Moms out there feeling the same way.
4. Pull together as a couple – One of the key factors that contribute to depression following birth is marital discord. If you and your significant other are not connected or are going through difficulty, depression can begin or even worsen.
5. Do not delay – As briefly mentioned above, once you start to feel uneasy or depressed in any way, take note and reach out for support. Many women, if not all, go through some sort of soul-searching, depression, uneasiness or anxiousness during pregnancy and after child birth. There are so many support groups, mommy groups, physicians and experts that are very familiar with what you are feeling. Reaching out to those who can help will help put your mind at ease and will help steer you in the direction of happiness and contentment.
Shannon Lazovski is the CEO of Glamorous Moms LLC, editor and owner of glamorousmoms.com, detroitfashionnews.com, is a MichMoms blogger for the Detroit News, the founder of Detroit Mom Bloggers; a mom blogger network in the Metro Detroit area. She is a blogger, fashion/beauty/image consultant and a social media community manager. She loves to collect jewelry, handbags and heels (typically the higher the better) and cannot get enough when it comes to the subjects of beauty and fashion.