Sunday, November 28

How does pregnancy affect a woman’s mental health?

How does pregnancy affect a woman’s mental health?

The pregnancy and childbirth has long been idealized. It seemed that the woman in that vital moment should be radiant and happy. But it’s not always like this.

Every day more women and medical professionals are dismantling this belief. Because the process of being a mother is not easy.

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At conception, pregnancy or postpartum a series of psychological and emotional difficulties, such as anxiety or depression, which if left unattended can affect the course of pregnancy and postpartum and the care of the baby.

Perinatal Mental Health specialists are the ones who help women and their families to overcome these problems through a comprehensive approach, where drug treatment is sometimes necessary.

Emotional vulnerability

The psychiatrist, Dr. Elena Serrano, an expert in Perinatal Mental Health at the Ruber Internacional Centro Médico Habana, explains that these types of difficulties can occur to any woman.

Pandemic pregnancies

This emotional vulnerability has been added in recent months Covid-19 to complicate things even more.

As the doctor points out, there are studies worldwide that indicate a 25% increase in depressive symptoms during pregnancy, compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Ideally, in the face of emotional and psychological difficulties that may appear both in pregnancy and postpartum, as well as in the process of becoming pregnant, the woman should go to a professional to deal with it.

“Or for women who are already undergoing drug treatment and need to consult the management of medication during this period,” explains Elena Serrano.

Shame and guilt for not being happy

However, there are a number of barriers to preventing women from requesting help or not receiving adequate care, says Dr. Elena Serrano. On the one hand, the lack of knowledge.

“There are symptoms such as insomnia that are identified as typical of this period, but they can also be an indicator of mental health problems,” warns the expert.

“This can prevent them from telling what they are suffering or asking for help,” says the specialist.

Important consequences for mother and baby

But not attending to these types of difficulties, as the psychiatrist points out, can have important consequences both for the mother, as well as for the course of pregnancy and postpartum and the development of the baby.

To diagnose and treat these types of disorders, the Ruber Internacional Centro Médico Habana conducts an initial interview with the woman and also with the couple.


According to this expert, from there a diagnostic evaluation is carried out and a treatment plan is proposed based on the needs of each woman.

«In some cases it will be indicated psychological therapy supplemented with physical exercise or another type of intervention to improve the general state of health and in other cases it will require a pharmacological treatment ».

“Although, in the context of pregnancy, non-pharmacological alternatives will always be favored”, points out Dr. Serrano.

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