When we take a a good look around, it is disturbing to see how many women find themselves disconnected during pregnancy and in the woman’s everyday lives. They consider it a season they ‘must endure’, like a prison sentence. The season of pregnancy is spent counting down their time until their ‘release date’.
“How much longer do you have?”, asked the stranger.
“16 more weeks, almost there.”, replied the mom.
This disconnect has been thought to contribute to a great number of pregnant mothers left undiagnosed and untreated for what may be termed Prenatal Depression. Prenatal depression has already been a known risk factor for postpartum depression. We have acknowledged that drugs, alcohol, and tobacco pass through the placenta to babies during pregnancy. However, it is still at a whisper we share the studies that show how emotional hormones pass through as well. It is believed that fetal exposure to increased amounts of stress hormones during pregnancy contribute to an increased number of infant mortality rate, babies who are irritable, difficult to console, less active and attentive, and children who suffer from behavioral, learning, and mental health disorders.
Yes, I’m sure much of the counting down is due to the excitement of getting to the holding, snuggling, and/or curing of all the associated symptoms. However, for many, this timekeeping is associated with Prenatal Depression, medically termed Major Depression. There are estimates that up to 20% of women are affected of this condition. As many as 70% of women will experience symptoms of depression during pregnancy, making it a wide spread concern, says Robin Elise Weiss, PhD. Unfortunately, many are left undiagnosed and untreated because they assume the feelings are a normal part of pregnancy.
Mothers finding time each day to be quiet and acknowledge the person living inside is one step to tuning in and staying connected in an effort to prevent. It is also helpful to talk, share, and connect with other mothers, counselors, and express all feelings to your healthcare provider. Some may find it beneficial to connect with a Maternity Coach. This birth worker makes every effort in fostering an emotional bond between mother and child throughout pregnancy and the first few months of postpartum through education, introducing stress reducing techniques and activities, and inspiring mothers to approach the season of pregnancy as an event to be celebrated.
When it comes to cultivating and nourishing healthy relationships, there is a lack of attention directed to the relationships between pregnant mothers and their unborn children. Healthy relationships start in the womb and I’d like help with spreading the word. This may happen overtime, through word of mouth advertising. But to start it takes a collection of mothers who have successfully changed the stories that are shared, after they themselves have accepted and completed the challenge of creating their own.
To learn more about how I can help more with my Maternity Coaching services click here.
To find out more about Prenatal Depression click here or here.