Most of us are aware that hormonal changes can occur during pregnancy, regardless of whether we’ve been there or have known someone who has. Many hormonal changes can affect a woman’s mental well-being while she is pregnant. This doesn’t happen after the birth. Women may experience mental health problems after giving birth and even postnatally. Women are asked several questions about their mental health at the beginning of their pregnancy to gain an understanding of how they feel. Some women might feel overwhelmed, others may be in shock, while others may not be prepared for the pregnancy. Others may find their anxiety increasing due to the pregnancy. Mental health is affected by all of these factors. The midwife’s role is to identify signs of mental decline and take appropriate action. Women respond differently to hormonal changes, and it is important for women to feel comfortable talking about their feelings with their midwife.
Although pregnancy is commonly viewed as a joyful time, it can be difficult. This is a huge change for the women and their families. Sometimes extra support and encouragement may need to be provided to help them and their family transition into parenthood. Support is essential for women who are unable to articulate their feelings of sadness or anger.
Mental health is becoming more widely discussed than ever before, there are still some stereotypes that need to be broken. We continue to lose too many people due to mental health problems. Healthcare professionals have received more training in diagnosing and treating mental illness. They are also more comfortable talking openly about the subject. There are many conditions that can be diagnosed during pregnancy, including antepartum depression (the fear of labor), tokophobia (the fear about birth), postnatal depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each condition must be understood by midwives. They should also know the signs and symptoms and how to best manage them.
Being a midwife and helping with mental health issues is about building a connection with women. Many trusts have specialist mental health teams who can help women in need. It is important to understand the differences between hormonal effects on moods, and mental health conditions. This is discussed during the booking appointment. Often, midwives will talk with the partner or close family/friend to make sure they are aware of changes in the woman’s mood. They can also help them seek support and help if necessary. The midwives will check in on the women during pregnancy and after birth to make sure they are healthy and stable.
To ensure the best possible outcomes for women suffering from perinatal mental disorders and their families, it is important to provide timely and appropriate care. Midwives need to have a better understanding of perinatal psychological health in order to be able to support women and their families and identify when specialist intervention may be required. To support and train midwives in their crucial role of caring for and collaborating with women with perinatal mental disorders, education and other structural supports such as Care Pathways and documentation are essential.
Social media has made it easier for women to talk about mental health and self-care. Women who are suffering from mental illness during pregnancy will be supported by midwives. They can talk about the issues and refer to the appropriate professionals. I believe that it is important to talk openly about mental illness in the long-term. No one should feel ashamed to seek help.
Sage, A. (2019, April 30). Mental Health in Midwifery. ARU. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://aru.ac.uk/blogs/mental-health-in-midwifery