Options and Interventions for Managing Mental Health

Recommended treatment for poor mental health during and after pregnancy is changing all the time.  If you experienced depression or anxiety before your pregnancy, your doctor may have already talked with you about medications you were taking at the time and whether it’s safe to continue.  If you’ve not taken medication before, your doctor may discuss this as an option, along with any known side effects.

There are also a number of drug-free interventions that are now being considered to help manage mental health, which are suitable in pregnancy and whilst breast feeding.

The National Institute for Clinical and Healthcare Excellence (NICE) recommends talking therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), along with relaxation strategies such as mindfulness. Mindfulness is a form of drug-free ‘medicine for modern times’, which incorporates techniques like focusing on the breath as a means to help you relax.  It can also help you manage unhelpful or intrusive thoughts, and be useful during labour.

Exercise, such as aqua-aerobics or yoga, and some complimentary therapies can also ease tension, anxiety and depression.  Your midwife will be able to talk you through which of these are safe in pregnancy and beyond.

Whatever options are being considered, you should be involved in these discussions at all times.  If you’ve noticed people are talking about you rather than with you, encourage them to include you in their conversations and ask you what would help.

Please read the important information at the foot of this website before making decisions about your health and wellbeing. 

© Delphi Ellis all rights reserved

2 thoughts on “Treatment

  1. Hi there. I am approaching 36, have a lovely 4 year old daughter, but would love to try for another, there is just one problem, I am scared to death of my antenatal depression coming back. In the past 2 years I have been pregnant twice but have sadly had to terminate both pregnancies because the depression was so severe. I was put on a low dose of ssri, which did not help and offered counselling which did nothing for me. I have suffered with depression since my early twenties and now take an Snri medication which has helped in my day to day life. I’m very confused as to why it has happened to me twice and why nothing helps. ,and why I did not get antenatal depression with my daughter. Please help!

    1. We would always recommend you speak with your doctor about how you feel so they can discuss what might work for you going forward. In the meantime, this book is written by Elaine Hanzak: Another Twinkle in the Eye: Contemplating Another Pregnancy After Perinatal Mental Illness (CRC Press, September 2015)

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