Does A Mother’s Mental Health Affect Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is frequently portrayed as a period of joy for expectant parents. However, whether or not they have previously experienced mental illness, some people may experience it during this time. Approximately 20% of pregnant women suffer from anxiety or depression during their pregnancy. Thus, mental health affects pregnancy and a child’s behavior.

pregnancy and mental health

Mental health affects pregnancy as, during pregnancy, people who stop taking psychiatric drugs for depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses may experience increased or different symptoms of their mental illness.

Does a mother’s mental health affect pregnancy? It even affects the baby. Let’s see some pointers on how a mother’s mental health will affect her baby.

During pregnancy

Until recently, the time after pregnancy was the primary focus on a mother’s mental health and her kid. Parental sadness or anxiety can lead to negligent behaviors, leading to a child’s mental health problems in the future. A recent study, however, suggests that a mother’s mental health can impact her kid while she is pregnant.

1. Stress

According to animal research, kids exposed to greater stress hormones while in the womb have a more active amygdala in the brain. It indicates that they are more anxious.

2. Anxiety and Depression-

These are two of the most common mental illnesses.

Another human study discovered that their babies’ heart rates increased when nervous mothers were given a difficult assignment. Another early study found that expecting women who were depressed had decreased activity in the brain regions that control emotions.

According to another study, kids born to parents who were depressed during their pregnancy have lower birth weights. Furthermore, pregnant women who suffer from anxiety or depression are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, or use other substances while pregnant.

3. Society-

On the other hand, parents are not always to blame for their children’s mental health issues. These, according to some mental health practitioners, are societal issues. If societal problems that contribute to stress and mental illness during pregnancy are addressed, children’s outcomes are likely to improve.

Is it Safe to Take Psychiatric Medications While Pregnant? 

Maybe. The FDA has authorized no psychiatric drugs for use during pregnancy. That isn’t to say that they aren’t dangerous. They haven’t been thoroughly examined in pregnant women to obtain FDA approval.

Under the care of a doctor with experience in reproductive psychiatry, some medications may be safe to take. ( Advice- Don’t take any medicines without consulting a professional.)

Intaking antidepressants

According to several studies, certain antidepressants may be safe to take throughout pregnancy. According to one study, newborns exposed to the popular antidepressant Prozac in the womb had no higher risk of birth abnormalities.

Alternative research suggests that other SSRI drugs may be safe to take while pregnant. Paxil is an antidepressant that expecting mothers should avoid. According to studies, babies exposed to it while in the womb had a higher risk of congenital cardiac problems.

For the first two weeks after birth, some babies experience withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants, including:

  • Tremors
  • Feeding problems
  • Irritability that is out of control
  • Breathing quickly

On the other hand, these symptoms usually do not necessitate medical attention. They should be able to leave on their own.

Some expectant moms gradually reduce their dosage as the due date approaches to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Other psychiatric medications are also available.

Under the supervision of a doctor, mood stabilizers and some antipsychotic drugs may be safe to take during pregnancy. On the other hand, Valproic acid is a mood stabilizer that pregnant women should avoid (Depakene). It’s linked to a substantially increased chance of birth abnormalities.

During their reproductive years, doctors frequently prescribe alternatives to this medicine to women in an unexpected pregnancies.

Managing Mental Health While Pregnant

Whether you had a mental illness before pregnancy or are currently pregnant and not feeling like yourself, there are techniques to deal with, including:

  • Speak with a therapist or a counselor.
  • Consult with family, friends, religious leaders, and community leaders.
  • Try yoga, meditation, or physical activity.


Remember that feeling scared, sad, or anxious throughout pregnancy is quite natural. You don’t have to deal with it alone if you’re constantly feeling that way. Reach out to your friends and family for support, and consult your doctor for more information. Thus, mental health affects pregnancy.

If you think your mental health issues are increasing to an extreme level, then you can go for online therapies too.

Convey us about how this blog post helped you overcome your mental health problem and share your thoughts through the comment box.

Every week, keep an eye out for our mental health blog posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *