Since the changes going on inside the body during pregnancy are easy to see, many pregnant women are forewarned and know what to expect. The changes inside the mind, however, are much more difficult to spot and are often downplayed to save face. As a result, many pregnant women are caught off guard by nightmares, emotional outbursts and other related symptoms. Since stress caused by these emotional symptoms can affect the pregnant woman's health, it's important to go through treatment to regain a healthy mindset. Otherwise, the alarming mental health symptoms could continue well after birth.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of stressors from dealing with bodily changes to coping with financial difficulties. These daily stressors can continue to affect the psyche long after going to bed. As a result, the stress manifests itself as nightmares that disrupt sleep patterns. Many pregnant women notice that the nightmares worsen as stress levels rise in the daytime hours.
Simply discussing the content of the nightmares and seeing how they relate back to daytime stress helps women cope with the disturbing thoughts, emotions and visuals. Therapists can help women understand how the dreams shift and change through the different trimesters of pregnancy. In addition, women can work with their therapists to find a way to reduce stress, which often eliminates the nightmares altogether.
Hormones levels wildly fluctuate as the body prepares to grow a new human being. The frequent surge of hormones causes mood changes on a minute-by-minute basis. The mood swings often feel out of character, causing the pregnant woman to worry about her mental health status. One of the most alarming emotions felt during mood swings is anger.
The angry outbursts often cause strife in the household as both partners try to figure out the cause and a solution. Women can work with their therapists to identify effective coping techniques as feelings of anger overwhelm the mind. Breathing exercises often have a calming effect on the body. However, for maximum results, women must practice the exercise during quiet periods to effectively utilize this technique in the heat of the moment.
Pregnancy naturally brings about feelings of anxiety as the brain attempts to cope with all of the new changes. Many people with anxiety often experience feelings of derealization, which is a change in perception about the world. The sufferer might feel like the world is unreal or decidedly different from what they know. As a result, the feelings of derealization could make that person feel like they're going crazy.
Pregnant women suffering from derealization can receive help by attending talk therapy sessions. Since the sensations often last just a few seconds at a time, it's very important to educate the patient about what's happening during derealization. Controlling the underlying anxiety often helps patients recover quickly from this scary condition.
With morning sickness common during the first trimester, pregnancy often necessitates disordered eating patterns. For example, pregnant women may only eat once a day in quantity when the nausea briefly goes away. As a result, binge-eating patterns become rooted into that person's daily life, which is a difficult problem to resolve.
Thankfully, working with a therapist helps pregnant women identify and eliminate those patterns before they become a problem. If binge eating already affects the woman's life, therapists can help create an eating plan that works to reverse those changes.
The easiest, and least intrusive, way to gain help for the above symptoms is from a licensed therapist. Regular therapy appointments give pregnant women a chance to discuss emotional shifts that feel out of character. Since the changes appear out of the blue and dissipate just as quickly, weekly pregnancy counseling appointments are usually best.
Pregnant women may just need to gain understanding about the symptoms and their duration to gather up enough strength to persevere. If the symptoms continue, however, therapists may work with the assigned obstetrics physician to find a safe medication regimen to follow through the pregnancy and breastfeeding period.