Mental Health and Maternity

This page will all be about 1st hand experiences of mental health and pregnancy by co-author Anya786. Her posts will also appear in the blog but this page will be dedicated to maternity and mental health.

Bumpy Bump by Anya 786

Before getting pregnant I thought I knew everything about the whole pregnancy thing. I thought I was prepared and had it all figured all. Surprise, surprise I’ve been unprepared not only for a load of physical symptoms but also for mental health overload.
It feels like I’ve been on a rollercoaster which never slows down, never stops but constantly accelerates. I barely have control over it but I still need to hold it together. Which I do but it’s heck of a challenge.
What do I do to help myself?
First of all, I’ve been talking about my feelings and emotions out loud. I find it very therapeutic to be able to share them with my partner Ian.
Secondly, I’ve been taking it easy when I need by using coping techniques from active meditation. The active meditation is all about being aware of the present moment and focusing on breathing.
I have mentioned two ways of dealing with mental health struggles during pregnancy but I also have one secret.
Let me reveal it to you… there is no cure for feeling low and down due to hormonal changes and underlying mental conditions. If you are not on any medication ( which by the way you should be taking religiously if advised and prescribed by your doctor) you need to take it easy and do everything which may make you feel better. Even if you feel like you’ve been hit by a track and ran over by a road roller (I’ve been there, I’ve done that).
It’s still all new to me, at times I’m confused, sad and weepy but there are also happy moments when I can feel our little baby drumming about in my belly.
Pregnancy is a wonderful miracle but it comes with its challenges. What it’s a unique experience which needs to be treated with sensitivity and respect.

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Cranberry Juice in a Pregnancy World by Anya786

I’m pregnant and I suffer from anxiety. I drink cranberry juice instead of gin. I do miss the mighty gin.

Two days ago I felt like my world came crushing down because I have experienced the worst anxiety and panic attack in years. It resulted for me in sobbing and weeping uncontrollably for two days. I convinced myself that my fiance would die in the car accident, that my mother would die due to the heart attack caused by long term family problems, that my father would go back to abusing alcohol and that my brother would commit suicide while being incarcerated. My head felt fuzzy, I was in a daze, it felt like something clicked in my brain and pushed me towards realms of depression. In the past, I allowed myself to slip in to deceiving arms of depression from anxiety and panic attacks periods. I know how this system works, I know how to manage my mental health, I know when and how to use coping techniques in order to not let myself suffer from depression again. It made me think though…

What if I was new to this?

What if the experience which I went through over the weekend pushed me to having a depression?

I wouldn’t know that it was a depression, I would simply deteriorate while growing a human being inside my body and struggling with all the changes that comes with it. I would feel sick and lost. I would feel demented, I would even feel suicidal. Therefore I have an appeal to make to all the pregnant ladies, partners and people in their lives:

If you feel sad, anxious, scared, lonely, defeated and afraid please talk to your doctor, family or friends.

If you feel that you’ve lost the ground under your feet please talk to your doctor, family or friends.

If you have felt down and low for a period of time and nothing makes you feel better please talk about it out loud.

We are here to listen and we don’t want you to feel that you are alone. If you feel misunderstood you have us, people who have been through shit in their life and who are not afraid to face mental health challenges.

Mental health problems are not the end of the world but the beginning of life which can be fulfilling if knowing how to manage the symptoms.

Love to you all xxx

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