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Pregnancy brings on a lot of changes in a woman’s body. The physical changes aren’t too hard to see: weight gain, swollen ankles, that radiant glow everyone talks about. But did you know pregnancy can impact your emotions as well? 

In fact, studies indicate that about 1 in 5 pregnant women meet the criteria for a mental health disorder during pregnancy. Read on as we unpack a few of the ways pregnancy can affect your mental health in addition to your physical body. 

Common Mental Health Challenges During Pregnancy

Anxiety and depression disorders are the two most common mental challenges facing pregnant women today. Women who have dealt with anxiety or depression in the past are especially vulnerable to experiencing those same feelings during pregnancy. 

While it’s very normal to worry about finances, family, and health problems during pregnancy, women suffering from anxiety disorders will have persistent fears that increase over time. 

If you find yourself struggling emotionally during pregnancy, it’s time to lean in and keep track of the symptoms you’re experiencing.

What Are the Warning Signs of Mental Health Disorders?

As mentioned above, pregnancy brings on a lot of changes in a woman’s body. All the new hormones your body is producing can make you more irritable, moody, and less like your usual self.

But women who experience prenatal anxiety and depression will often have persistent symptoms that include: 

  • Feeling sad or tearful a lot of the time
  • Easily angered 
  • Loss of interest in other people and the world around you
  • Decreased appetite
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or blaming yourself for your problems
  • Problems concentrating or making decisions

While not all women who identify with the symptoms above will be diagnosed with a mental disorder, you should speak with your doctor if you experience more than one of the above symptoms. 

How Can I Prioritize Mental Wellness?

Prioritizing your mental health during pregnancy doesn’t have to be overwhelming. A few simple steps can go a long way. 

For example, take time every day to do something you enjoy. That might be taking a walk outside, meeting up with a friend, watching a favorite show on TV, and calling a friend for prayer.

Create a strong support system you can lean into during pregnancy. Whether this is with your partner, close friend, church, or counselor, it should be someone who can listen to your concerns and encourage you during your entire pregnancy journey. 

Additional Resources 

You Medical exists to provide women with the pregnancy and sexual health services they deserve. Our friendly staff welcomes you into a safe and confidential environment for no-cost pregnancy verification, limited OB ultrasounds, or limited STI/STD testing and treatment

Appointments can be made by calling 509-491-1101 or requesting a day/time online. You don’t have to suffer alone. Let us help you thrive during your pregnancy!

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