Being pregnant is an exciting moment in a woman’s life. A mother enjoys a special bond with the baby before even seeing it. She gets to experience the delight of taking care of her child and feels it slowly growing inside her belly.
However, there are many problems that an expecting mother can face during her pregnancy. These problems can cause her emotional, physical, and mental stress, which can cause complications. These problems can affect not only her but the child inside of her.
Here are some of the common pregnancy problems and how counseling can help expectant mothers to cope.
Increased Stress Levels
Pregnancy brings a significant change into any woman’s life. It also warrants a different level of stress. First-time mothers can become more stressed as they might feel unprepared for a new chapter of their life. Unwanted and unplanned pregnancies can also be stressful for expecting mothers.
Many other factors can increase the stress that expecting mothers experience. One of these is the environment where they are. Single parenthood can be more trying for the mother because she has to tend to her baby all by herself. Relationship problems within the family can also lead to stress.
Stress can affect not only the mother but also the baby’s health and overall well-being. Here are things that expecting mothers may experience if they fail to cope well with stress:
- Sleeping problems
- Eating problems
- Losing or gaining weight
- Difficulty in calming down
- Increased irritability
- Mood swings
It’s crucial for expecting mothers to watch out for their mental health because this also involves the child. The babies can also feel what they feel. More so, stress can increase the risk of problems that may affect the baby’s physical and mental development.
To combat the effects of stress, expecting mothers can talk to professional counselors. They can help mothers to have healthy coping skills that they can use every day throughout their pregnancy. Talking with someone about what you’re going through is an effective way of managing stress.
It’s natural for pregnant women to feel some sense of worry throughout their pregnancy. You might be new to everything and may feel lost sometimes. The sudden change in hormones can also be a factor in why a pregnant woman might have anxiety.
However, if your worries already affect your daily activities, then you might have anxiety. Some symptoms of anxiety include:
- Constant feeling of anxiousness
- Difficulty to concentrate
- Feeling agitated and irritated
- Having tensed muscles
- Sleeping problems
Sometimes, anxiety problems can lead to panic attacks. These attacks start suddenly, and the symptoms can manifest physically. This makes the experience much worse. A common symptom of a panic attack is having difficulty breathing or pacing back and forth.
Finding support is a helpful way to fight anxiety. You can reach out to your doctor or a therapist if you feel that your anxiety is getting the best out of you. These professionals can give you the proper medication you need. They might also refer you to a counselor who can help you with these problems.
The worst-case scenario is a miscarriage, which can happen if pregnancy stress is not monitored well. Losing a child is always a painful experience. Statistics show that miscarriages occur in 15% of known pregnancies. However, many people tend not to talk about miscarriages. In turn, parents who experience this might feel like they are alone and unsupported.
When a couple or a mother finally knows that they’re expecting a baby, they can’t help but imagine the future. Almost instantly, they’ll begin planning everything, from their baby’s crib down to their baby’s name. But when a miscarriage happens, these plans immediately come crashing down. The parents suddenly have to make room to grieve for their loss.
Couples or expecting mothers who experienced the miscarriage grieve the future will forever be a ‘what if.’ In the process of grief, couples may blame themselves or each other. They might feel that they could have prevented it but weren’t able to do so. These mixed feelings and thoughts can lead most couples to break up.
Healing from a miscarriage is possible, but it takes time. Talking with a professional can help mothers to overcome grief and move forward with their lives. People who experienced miscarriage need to feel that they’re not alone in whatever they’re going through.
A counselor can engage couples or mothers with activities that can help them accept what happened in their lives. The goal of these sessions is to teach them healthier coping mechanisms for them to feel better. With these, the couples or the single mom can have a better, healthier mindset. This will help them get through this obstacle in their life.
Another common problem that mothers face is postpartum depression. Research shows that about 15% of first-time mothers experienced this condition. Many people tend to take this lightly, but it’s a severe problem. This condition is often referred to as “baby blues,” but they are entirely different in severity.
Postpartum depression can cause mothers to experience severe mood swings and exhaustion. They also feel a constant sense of hopelessness. These feelings can ultimately affect the mother’s ability to take care of herself and her child. When left untreated, the condition can become worse over time.
The symptoms of postpartum depression may differ for each person. The common symptoms of postpartum depression are the following:
- Feeling of exhaustion but can’t sleep
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Extreme mood swings
- Flooding of different kinds of indescribable emotions
- You feel overwhelmed and hopeless
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable things
- Can’t concentrate or make decisions
- Intrusive thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby
These symptoms may appear within a few weeks after childbirth or sometimes even after a few months. See your doctor as soon as possible if you feel symptoms of postpartum depression.
Mental health professionals like psychologists and psychiatrists can head therapy sessions and help mothers overcome postpartum depression. In these sessions, mothers are taught different strategies for preventing harmful thoughts.
Pregnancy is a crucial moment for mother and child. Throughout the nine months, extensive care and attention must be given to them. As inevitable as pregnancy problems are, there is always help available for women going through it.
In times like this, reaching out to a counselor is helpful to maintain your sanity and mental well-being. Going to counseling sessions is one of the healthiest ways for an expecting mother to cope with the changes that she’s experiencing in her life.