Pregnancy is often met with joy and anticipation, but no matter how enthusiastically the birth of a child can be, stress and emotional changes are likely to occur over the course of pregnancy. Pregnancy can present mental, physical, and emotional concerns from mild to serious, which can impact the overall health of both the mother and/or child, add strain on a romantic relationship, and result in family changes, both forecasted and unforeseen. When concerns arise during pregnancy, emotional distress affects one’s mental health, obtaining the support of a mental health practitioner may be helpful. Experts agree that emotional support during this phase can be an effective way to monitor the mental well-being of the mother-to-be. Likewise, compounded pressure can be experienced by the partner and/or other offspring. Among the challenges that can be experienced are:
- Mood and anxiety shifts
- Economic changes
- Physiological and biological changes that impact health
- Strained relationship dynamics
- Ambivalent to the idea of parenthood
The therapeutic treatment modality used will vary based on the concerns of the expecting mother or parents. Some women find the stress of motherhood and new responsibilities to be difficult to handle and being able to express those concerns in a supportive setting may be helpful to them. Those experiencing change in mood may seek individual therapy. Couples therapy can also be beneficial when the new parents find that their brand-new bundle of joy has placed additional challenges and stressors on their relationship. In therapy, parents can verbalize apprehensions or areas of conflict and resolve any issues in their partnership.
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