Why is maternal mental health important

Becoming mother can increase the risk for getting mental diseases. Psychiatric diseases often appear during the postpartum period. The risk for mental diseases increases up to 70% within the first 6 months after delivery. Maternal mental diseases such as depression and anxiety disorders affect approximately 15-20% of women being in the period of pregnancy or after delivery. This means that 1 of 7 pregnancies are concerned and that many women and families may have been affected by this situation. The probability of the diagnosis of psychotic disorders and of the inpatient treatment of women is increased mostly after they deliver.

There are changes in estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy and after delivery; in women with taint of increases or decreases while exhibiting a high level can cause changes of mental state.

Even in women getting pregnant intendedly and being ready for the motherhood on several counts, the probability of postpartum diseases relative high.

Maternal Mental Health deals with the issue of protection and treatment of mental diseases which are developed after delivery.

Getting to know the babies and their parents who are at risk after delivery, enables us to prevent unpleasant impacts on both parental mental disease and infantile behavior and health. Early diagnosis and treatment of maternal mental health affect the infantile development favorably.

Prenatal Mental Health

Prenatal Mental Health focuses on women’s mental health during their pregnancy and within the first year after their delivery. Existing mental diseases before pregnancy further contain mental diseases (depression, anxiety disorders schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder) which appear during pregnancy for the first time or deteriorate after delivery

On the one hand, pregnancy may be a period that makes you feel happy and funny but on the other hand you can experience your pregnancy as a period exhibiting feelings like anxiety, worry, dispiritedness and probably depressive feelings. Even pleasant happenings which make us feel happy can cause stress. Pregnancy and delivery aren’t different. Although, the pregnancy and child birth may have been welcomed pleasantly there are a lot of changes which can act as stress factors and affect women’s mental health. Your body may change physically, there may be changes in hormones and routines, your sleep often interrupts, the relations may change, the expectations on yourself can be increased and this can cause the sense of unsuccessfulness.

Recommendations for families

If you worry about your partner or a closed person of you struggles with depression during pregnancy or postpartum depression, it is important to know that she needs help and support.

Speak with her and ask how does she feel, without judging her. Statements like ‘I can’t understand why do you feel so ...’, ‘You are talking nonsense.’ ‘You needn’t to feel so…’ make everything worse. It is important to show that you understand her.