Therapy can help expectant mothers, women who are facing postpartum concerns, and the partners of these women to address the various issues that pregnancy and childbirth are likely to cause.
What are Maternal Issues?
Maternal issues refer to a range of health conditions that a woman may experience throughout the stages of pregnancy and childbirth, as well as during the period after childbirth called postpartum.
Many women suffer from issues related to pregnancy and childbirth. It is important that women have access to quality medical care to provide proper maternity care including treating existing diseases, supporting the nutrition of the baby and mother, providing universal access to reproductive and sexual care, and supporting women who are vulnerable to intimate partner violence.
Maternal issues can have a significant impact on the health of both the child and/or mother. This can add undue pressure on a romantic relationship, and lead to disruptive or disturbing changes in life, both predictable and unpredictable.
When issues or concerns that crop up during pregnancy or post childbirth cause distress or otherwise impact a woman’s mental health, the intervention and support of a therapist or other mental health professional can be helpful to a large extent.
What are the Maternal Issues Experienced During Pregnancy and Childbirth?
The following are some of the common maternal issues or conditions a woman may experience in their pregnancy:
- High blood pressure
- Urinary tract infection
- Obesity and weight gain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Depression and anxiety
- Mental health concerns
- Aches and pains
- Digestive system issues
- Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness)
Challenges Associated with Maternal Issues
Pregnancy can be challenging for women in many cases as they experience a high level of physical and mental strain. Single mothers may undergo much more strain and distress as they are often devoid of help and support. Pregnancy is often accompanied by some form of physical or mental concerns and many mothers-to-be experience anxiety or stress regarding the impending birth, health of their child, or various complications that can occur with pregnancy. These concerns may be mild or severe, but the anxiety or stress they can create may result in some women experiencing increased mental or physical strain, poor physical health, or depression, all of which may cause increased risk during maternity.
Mental Health Concerns Associated with Maternal Issues
Though pregnancy often evokes many positive thoughts and feelings, it can also bring about negative emotions in a woman. At the time of pregnancy, insecurities, relationship difficulties, financial issues, and past family issues can become immediate and real concerns. An expecting woman may find herself going through anxiety, fear, forgetfulness, body image issues, or mood swings. Females who experienced anxiety or depression before becoming pregnant probably are more likely to undergo mental health issues during pregnancy. Other factors such as societal expectations may add additional stress on a woman’s mental health in the way of offering unsolicited opinions or advice on diet, weight gain, body shape, and other practices. This eventually may lead to a woman experiencing anger, irritation, frustration, and even doubting their own ability to be good mothers.
Therapy for Maternal Issues
Therapy can provide a helping hand to expectant mothers, women who are experiencing postpartum issues, and the partners of these women to deal with various concerns that pregnancy and childbirth can often cause. Women who have undergone mental health issues prior to pregnancy may worry that the added challenge of motherhood will cause further concerns to develop or aggravate their conditions. However, intervention and support from a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, during a women’s pregnancy can successfully assist them to feel secure and more at ease. Women who experience postpartum psychosis or depression may notice that therapeutic treatment, along with medication when needed, has a significant beneficial effect.
The form of therapy employed will usually vary depending upon the concerns a woman is undergoing. Some women find the stress associated with motherhood and new responsibilities to be hard to manage and sharing their concerns with others in a support group with similar situations may be beneficial to them. Those experiencing anxiety or depression may seek individual therapy. Couples therapy can also be beneficial to couples who find that the arrival of a new baby has placed additional stresses and challenges on their relationship. In therapy, couples can share their concerns or voice areas of disagreement in their relationship and resolve any issues for a healthy partnership.
Single mothers or parents who do not have support or assistance may also be able to seek resources and find assistance to develop a support network in therapy. In any case, a mental health professional will be able to provide resources and assistance for those experiencing difficulties.