While the body problems associated with pregnancy are often resolved, the psychological difficulties associated with mental health and pregnancy are ignored. Although maternity is considered to be an important risk factor for the development and exacerbation of mental health problems, most parents are still unaware of the devastating impact of these problems. Mothers with previous mental problems have a higher risk. However, the problems can affect the mother during or after pregnancy, as well as the risk of disease in the mother and infant. It is therefore necessary for the mother to be well informed of the risks on both sides and to consider the diagnosis and the recommendations of the health professional.
Prenatal mental disorders, which are broadly classified under the name of motherhood depression, are the result of physiological and hormonal changes of the body and the stress factors that come with pregnancy. Pregnancy-related or mental health disorders during pregnancy and postpartum mental disorders after pregnancy affect women. Anxiety and depression are major emotional disorders in the prenatal stage.
This common psychiatric disorder, known as infant depression, can seriously affect the life of the mother and her child. It affects almost 10 percent of pregnant women and poses a risk for mother and fetus. The problem, known as postpartum depression, begins after the birth of the baby and may worsen later. A sudden increase in hormone levels during pregnancy or a change in the level of brain chemicals that determine moods are factors that trigger depression. A deterioration in any of these may lead to depression. Other causes of depression may be life events that lead to stress, financial problems, or death in the family.
Difficulty in sleeping or excessive sleeping, weight loss of appetite, excessive sensitivity or mood swings, constant fatigue or lack of energy, feeling uneasiness or weight, unpredictable, unquestionable or bizarre behavior, repetitive self-harm or suicidal ideation, guilt or unworthiness feeling, untreated depression can lead to substance abuse, self-harm or suicide, and may even cause death of the baby. Most pregnant women with depression may experience premature birth, unexpected abortion and a low birth weight infant. It may also reduce the mother’s ability to promote the child’s cognitive and emotional development.
It is usually the most extreme form of prenatal mental illness that occurs within the first few weeks of the baby’s birth, and requires immediate medical attention. This form of maternity depression can even lead to a bad birth or even to the loss of the baby. While the effect of psychotropic drugs during pregnancy is not yet confirmed, the risks associated with untreated psychiatric disorders during and after pregnancy should be considered and the necessary treatment provided.