Emotional Health During Pregnancy and the First Year Postpartum
Your emotional health during this time is extremely important. Emotional wellness affects your overall wellbeing as well as the short and long term development of your baby and older children. Below is a list of common distressing emotional reactions that 1 in 5 mom and 1 in 10 dads will experience during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. If any of these apply to you, please know that you are not alone!
With proper support and early detection, most parents can begin to feel better rapidly and more fully enjoy their lives, relationships, and the experience of parenting. Even if many of the items below don’t apply to you but you just don’t feel like yourself, please reach out for help.
- Anxiety or racing thoughts
- Constant worry about your baby’s safety
- Difficulty sleeping or getting back to sleep
- Irritability, anger, or rage
- Guilt about your feelings
- Tearfulness and sadness
- Intrusive images of harm coming to your baby
- Scary thoughts you are afraid to share
- Constantly feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty coping
- Thoughts of harming yourself or feeling your baby and family may be better off without you.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider right away and/or call Postpartum Support International at (800) 944-4PPD (944-4773) or www.postpartum.net. PSI is the largest perinatal support agency in the U.S. Their toll-free WarmLine (English & Spanish) serves over 1,000 callers a month and is staffed by a volunteer team of PSI trained responders who rapidly refer callers to appropriate local resources, including emergency services.