Good Mental Heath
Good mental health will look different for everyone. For many people it’s being able to function in much the same way as they have done before they were pregnant, continuing to work, for example, and going about their daily lives. (This may change as the pregnancy progresses and things naturally become a bit more challenging).
Signs of good mental health might include sleeping well, eating regularly and generally feeling fit and well. However, things like morning sickness can disrupt “the norm” and this in turn can have an impact on how we feel. But we might struggle for other reasons.
Below are some of the ways that people might start to recognise they’re not ok.
Early Warning Signs
One person’s experience of poor mental health will look different to another’s, especially during pregnancy. It’s also important to say that a certain amount of stress or nervousness about pregnancy and what lies beyond is ‘normal’. It’s when these feelings stop you enjoying your pregnancy, or from living healthily once baby is born, that seeking help is important. Here are some of the more common signs:
- Excessive crying (more than ‘normal’ in pregnancy)
- Tired but unable to sleep
- Wanting to sleep more to ‘escape’
- No appetite or over eating
- Feeling isolated and lonely
- Withdrawing or feeling detached from baby, friends and family
- Irritability and intrusive thoughts
- Relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms, including engaging in repetitive “rituals” in order to feel safe
- Lack of interest in things you’d normally enjoy
- Repetitive, unhelpful thoughts and behaviour
Your doctor and midwife are there to help you and, in the UK, there are healthcare guidelines which give them a number of options to discuss with you during and after your pregnancy.
Speak with close family and friends about how you feel and ask them to come to ante-natal or post-natal appointments with you, if that might help.
If you’re reading this because you’re worried about someone you care about, approach the subject sensitively. You could say you’re worried about them, ask how they feel and what would help. If you feel you can’t approach the subject with them, you could speak with your doctor about how best to help, but where you can try to involve the person you’re worried about. If you have immediate concerns, call 999.
Men / partners can also experience poor mental health when their partner is pregnant. Click here for more information.
Please read the important information at the foot of this website before making decisions about your health and wellbeing.
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