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The Challenging Impact of Pregnancy and Where to Get Help
Pregnancy can be a difficult time for women, both physically and mentally. Pregnancy challenges can give rise to greater problems from financial anxiety and lack of support to the various uncomfortable physical symptoms.
Struggles surrounding pregnancy affect the mother and can also put a lot of strain on a relationship. This is especially true if the pregnancy is unplanned or the partners have different goals for the child. And for single mothers, coping with the demands of pregnancy without a partner can feel overwhelming.
That said, pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing can be difficult, even when the pregnancy is "easy," and everything proceeds as planned. Adapting to new roles and responsibilities after the birth of a child is also typically a stressful time.
Many of these challenges may also give rise to the most common complication of childbirth: mental health concerns — especially depression, anxiety, and stress. The mental, emotional, and physical strain that pregnancy can cause a woman can negatively impact their childbirth and long-term mental health.
After having a baby, it's normal to feel tired, stressed, or anxious, but if you experience symptoms for more than two or three weeks, you may have postpartum depression.
Common symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Disinterest in hobbies
- Sleeping problems
- Anger or rage
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Doubting the ability to be a good parent
Childbirth itself is also a source of psychological stress and difficulty, especially when complications with delivery or other issues occur. Pregnancy loss can lead to complex emotions, such as grief, shame, guilt, and isolation.
There are many ways to cope with and manage these difficult emotions and mental health concerns despite these challenges. In many cases, therapy may be the best option because it can address any need or issues surrounding your pregnancy or postpartum period.
Therapy may include individual therapy, couples therapy, grief counseling, or support groups. Whatever your specific struggles are, a therapist can help you identify any issues causing you distress and give you the tools to work through this difficult time.