Thankfully we live in an age that, if a person has a psychiatric history, it’s okay. And if that person is pregnant, and has a psychiatric history that’s okay too. In this article we give 10 ‘History of Mental Illness and Pregnancy’ tips to guide women with taking appropriate steps to ensure their pregnancy goes smoothly.
10 Tips for Women With a History of Mental Illness and Pregnancy
Be straight-forward and frank with your doctor.
Doctors ask for a medical history for a reason, and that is to give you and your unborn child the best health care possible.
Listen to your doctor.
With the information that you give your doctor about your psychiatric history, they can determine the best possible program for you to follow. Make sure that you follow it. Remember it is for your health and that of your baby.
Do not be ashamed of your psychiatric history.
For some reason people tend to think differently at a weakness of the mind, and a weakness of the body, but don’t. There a many things that can cause any of us to have a psychiatric history. Some of these might be illness, fever, infection or a severe trauma.
Get Help if your are uncomfortable with your history.
Pregnancy should be a time of joyful anticipation. If your psychiatric history is causing you concerns, talk to your doctor about getting counseling.
Talk to close friends and family about your concerns.
Ask for their help and support if necessary. Also, reassure them that everything is going well. Let them share in your joyful anticipation.
Don’t dwell on your psychiatric history.
Remember to think about what you think about. It will do you no good to dwell on the past, it has already happened. For the present, concentrate about the ‘now.’
Make sure to keep yourself busy.
My granny used to always say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” It’s a statement we’ve all heard in our lifetime. Take up a hobby, start walking. If we keep ourselves busy, we don’t have much time to dwell on the past.
If you have concerns about your pregnancy and the baby once it gets here, talk to your health-care provider or local hospital about a group therapy session. Group therapy is not a group of friends discussing things; it is a group of people who doesn’t even know each other on a personal level, except that they have common concerns.
Don’t just eat a lot of food, but do eat good, well-balanced meals. By keeping your nutrition up, you will be keeping your baby’s nutrition up.
Feel good about yourself.
Your psychiatric history is just that; your psychiatric history. Keep in mind that you are a unique human being, and worthy of loving yourself. How you feel about yourself determines how you feel about others.
Having a history of mental illness and pregnancy need not spoil your pregnancy experience. Enjoy your pregnancy and enjoy life. Your baby will benefit from it.
Check out our related article with additional tips for Women With Psychiatric Disorders During Pregnancy.