Taking Care of Your Mental Health Before, During and After Pregnancy
Approximately one in seven women, and one in ten dads, experience postpartum depression symptoms.
Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of emotions that often continues after delivery. You experience a major shift in your experiences, your feelings and your hormones. Having a baby is challenging and is a life-altering event, so changes in your mental health are completely normal.
Anxiousness, sadness and feeling overwhelmed are common before, during and after pregnancy. For some women, these emotions don’t subside and can become a serious mental health risk. While common, certain mental health symptoms need to be monitored by the mother and her support system to determine if additional support is needed.
According to a recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of pregnant women with a diagnosis of depression at delivery increased by seven times from 2000 to 2015.
CarePlus New Jersey’s Maternal & Family Center
At the Maternal & Family Center, many support services are available before, during and after your pregnancy. Specialty care is also provided with expertise in treating the whole family, including substance use disorders, pregnancy in teens and young adults, and grief counseling for parents who have experienced loss of a pregnancy or a young child.
Counseling and Support
Individual, family and couples counseling is available as well as support groups to help every step of the way. Family support is important, such as education for dads, spouses, partners and loved ones.
For mothers, if you are experiencing emotional changes that are concerning or you think you may be depressed, make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Getting help early is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. Treatment will help you heal.
Coordination with a primary care doctor, OB/GYN, or outside mental health professionals is key to helping mothers-to-be and their families. We emphasize the importance of an interdisciplinary team and open communication between professionals to ensure a seamless treatment plan.
For certain mental health disorders, medication may be recommended. This may also apply during the perinatal period of motherhood. We provide medication evaluation, monitoring and counseling. When discussing medications with your healthcare provider, let them know if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Together, you can decide if taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding is right for you.
The Maternal & Family Center is dedicated to supporting families throughout the many stages of parenthood. Our support groups provide a judgment-free safe place for parents to ask questions, share their stories and receive support from other parents who have encountered similar emotions and experiences. Two support groups are currently offered:
- New Parent Support Group
- The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group
At the Maternal & Family Center, we tailor our services to fit the individual needs of the women and families we serve. Our dedicated team of experts are specially trained in perinatal mental health and certified by Postpartum Support International. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 201-986-5000., Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Ask for the Maternal & Family Center.