Supporting Mothers: Navigating Mental Health During Pregnancy and Beyond in Today’s World

Pregnancy and motherhood are one of the most profound experiences, but they can also be incredibly challenging both physically and mentally. Mothers become intensified with the growing societal pressures and expectations which significantly leads to mental health issues among them. Which further makes it mandatory to support them mentally, physically, and emotionally because having someone by their side in this roller-coaster journey makes a great difference. Whether it’s through therapy, support group or simply having someone to talk to, their well-being should be of prime importance.

According to a study, around 15-20% of women experience some sorts of mental issues during their motherhood in India. There are several factors behind these percentages such as hormonal changes, lack of social support etc. The cultural stigma surrounding mental health issues also makes it difficult for mothers to seek for help and support which leads to a feeling of isolation and guilt.

Overcoming Mental Health During Pregnancy and Postpartum
The journey of motherhood is often depicted as a joyous and fulfilling experience, but it is far more complex in reality. To cope with the stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns that a woman experiences during pregnancy and postpartum, they must seek support from trusted loved ones, communicate with healthcare professionals, or mental health professionals without any hesitation. During this time, mothers need to engage themselves in self-care practices such as exercise, meditation, or therapy which can also help them in lightening the symptoms and promote greater emotional stability. Everyone needs to remember that every mother’s journey is unique, so are the challenges. But in order to experience the beauty as well as complexities of motherhood in today’s modern world, not just a mother but the entire family should pitch in whenever needed.

The Role of Support Systems
The role of support networks for moms is more vital when it comes to mental and emotional health during pregnancy and postpartum. As, so many expectations and societal pressure are placed on mothers from all angles, a strong support system needs to be in place to maintain a positive environment which can significantly impact on the mental well-being of soon-to-be mothers and make a difference. They all just need a listening ear, practical assistance with childcare or household tasks, a non-judgmental support network to get some much-needed relief and encouragement during both the highs and lows of pregnancy and motherhood.

Practicing Self-Compassion and Resilience
To overcome mental health in this world that often deifies perfection and achievements, it is more important to focus on self-compassion and resilience. Pregnancy brings a lot of physical and mental change in a woman. Getting exhausted and mood swings are very often during this period. During this time Self – compassion create a positive impact bot just on mumma but on the baby as well.

Pregnancy is a journey unique to every mother. So one should never compare one’s experiences with others. Mothers should also be encouraged to seek help from the people around or from healthcare professionals.
From sleepless nights, traumas to endless responsibilities, the journey of pregnancy has its own hurdles. So, everyone should encourage mothers to lead their motherhood journey with resilience, self-compassion, and the knowledge that they are not alone in their struggles by showing little empathy, understanding, and support.

By: Dr Meghana Andankar, Vice president CPS, MBBS DGO FCPS DFP DNB (Gyn/Obs) DGO and FCPS 2002 DNB 2003

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