Maternal & Reproductive Mental Health Services
Stress, Depression and Anxiety during Pregnancy and Postpartum
Maternal health during reproduction is managed by the mother as well as her team of support. This support system typically includes her partner or family and her obstetrician. Obstetricians are medical doctors that are trained to monitor for routine needs during pregnancy. Visits occur at varying frequencies during the pregnancy and follow national ACOG guidelines for screenings and care. Often after a positive pregnancy test, there is a confirmatory ultrasound between 6-12 weeks. The main milestones in the first-trimester care are an ultrasound and or cell-free DNA testing depending on the mother’s age and health and their personal preferences regarding screening. At 20 weeks, an anatomy scan is routinely done. This scan visualizes in greater detail the development of the fetus and assesses for any areas of concern. As the pregnancy progresses, there is a glucose screening test and further monitoring of the mom and baby to ensure everything is on track.
Around 20% of women experience some sort of complications in their pregnancies and/or their deliveries, meaning that pregnancy-related issues are quite common. If there are complications or high-risk conditions, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist can often help offer expertise and guidance for the duration of the pregnancy. It is extremely important that expecting mothers feel comfortable and confident in their maternal and reproductive care providers and can have any concerns that come up addressed. While physical health is a significant priority during pregnancy and is actively checked, sometimes emotional health is given less of the limelight. Emotional health, stress, depression and anxiety are extremely important to recognize early and be proactive about treatment. Medically, there is lots of evidence for poorer outcomes for babies when maternal mental health is not well addressed. Additionally, this is the start of a long journey into motherhood, and optimizing the way you feel mentally, controlling stress levels and alleviating anxiety and depression can help start that journey off on the right foot. While all transition and change can be both exciting and stressful, if there is a prior personal or family history of mental health difficulties, it is often helpful to have a psychiatrist and or a therapist as part of your support network as well.
Mental Health Related Pregnancy Tips
- Get recommendations on doctors and call and find out if their practice aligns with your individual needs. It can be useful to set up a meeting with one to two practices to make sure you are choosing the best fit for you
- Take a family member or friend to appointments, especially ultrasounds or appointments where important information might be delivered
- Make a list of questions beforehand, so you are prepared to ask them when the doctor is in the room.
- If you have an upsetting or unpleasant experience, address it with your team right away, do not let them linger. As the delivery grows closer, you will want to feel that you are in good hands
- If you have multiple treatment providers (Obstetrics and gynecologist, maternal-fetal medicine specialist, psychiatrist, nutritionist, etc.), make sure you have signed releases and that they have easy communication with each other to help collaborate and coordinate care
Why Going to Therapy during Pregnancy or Postpartum May Be a Good Option
Going to a therapist during pregnancy, and even after delivery has been recommended by experts. During these times, you are more likely to feel a wide array of emotions, many positive and some that are negative. Seeing a therapist or mental health professional can give you more insight as to what may be going on with you emotionally and also help you learn strategies to maintain your mental health during this stressful period. Studies have shown that your baby experiences the emotions that you experience through the complex interaction of physical and emotional networks in your body. If you are consistently experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, your baby can be affected by a stressful environment.
At Thriving Lane, our therapists, psychologists, physician associates and psychiatrists specialize in women’s mental health and have vast experience in treating women during stressful times, such as pregnancy. Above all, we prioritize your mental health and well-being, and therefore the health of your developing baby. In our teletherapy and telepsychiatry sessions, by blending conventional interventions with holistic approaches, we are able to find the roots of tensions and mitigate them so that you can enjoy your pregnancy and baby to the fullest extent.
What if I Don’t Feel Comfortable Going Out Due to the Risk of COVID-19 Infection?
At Thriving Lane, all of our sessions are virtual and the video sessions take place over a HIPAA secure telemedicine platform. If you are currently expecting, then virtual sessions are extremely beneficial because you don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of your own home.
Will I Feel Comfortable opening up to a therapist or psychiatrist over the internet?
Yes! All our therapists are experienced and trained to help virtually. The studies actually show that online therapy and telemedicine outcomes can be equal and sometimes superior to in office visits. The connection that you have with your therapist is based upon understanding, trust, and working to a common goal which is to get you feeling better. Luckily, the internet and telemedicine is able to facilitate this and break down the barriers to care that have existed for women for so many years!
If you are interested in finding more about online therapy, holistic treatment and medication management in Florida, Georgia, Alaska, Nebraska and Minnesota, please follow these three simple steps.
- Call (347) 830 7720, click client portal on the top left side or hit the book now button to get in touch with Thriving Lane. Our staff will do a free 10-minute consultation to see how we can help.
- Connect with us through our newsletter and online content to help improve your mental health even if you aren’t ready for teletherapy, telemedicine, or telecounseling.
- Begin the journey to finding your inner peace and achieving your highest potential!