Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Whilst having a baby can be one of life’s most exciting and challenging times – it can also create a roller coaster of emotions. There are times that you will feel happiness and at peace with life. There will however be times when you experience stress, frustration, confusion and become overwhelmed.
This is why it is vital to keep your emotional health as well as your physical health in check throughout the pregnancy and motherhood journey. This will enable you to manage stress, maintain happy relationships, communicate your feelings and enjoy the new role of motherhood.
Some tips to help look after yourself and your emotions during pregnancy
- Do not expect too much of yourself – make time to slow down, rest when you can and relax
- Getting adequate amounts of sleep is vital
- Talk to your partner about the ways you feel having a baby will make a difference to your life
- Organise extra support, especially for the first few weeks after you come home from hospital. Help from family and friends can make a difference
- Try and arrange to have as much time off as possible for both you and your partner after the baby is born. Government- funded Dad and Partner Pay provides up to two weeks paid leave and you may be able to negotiate some additional time off with your employer.
- Talk to those who you trust about your feelings. Sharing any concerns can allay anxiety
- Try to extend your support network – other expectant parents can be a valuable source
- You can always talk to Len or any of our midwives if you are experiencing any concerns and we encourage you to do so. Be aware of any changes from how you normally feel. If your emotions are starting to interfere with your day to day life, the earlier you talk to us about it, the better.
- Bear in mind that what you read on the internet or on many websites are not always helpful and not from a reliable source
- If you have a past history of any mental health conditions, please discuss this with us. This will help us identify and respond early if any previous symptoms arise
The combination of physical, emotional and social changes may lead to emotional problems during pregnancy.
You are at greater risk if you have experienced a mental health condition in the past.
Mental health conditions can happen to any individual just as physical conditions. It is vital to look after yourself and watch out for any changes in your mood or if you are finding it difficult to cope with daily life. Ups and downs are a part of the pregnancy journey.
You can always talk to Len or one of our very experienced midwives if you are experiencing any concerns. We strongly encourage you to do so. We have access to many expert health professionals that we can refer you to if necessary.
During your pregnancy we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) that was developed to identify women who may be at risk of developing postnatal depression. Whilst often used in the postnatal period, the EPDS is useful for screening women during their pregnancy for potential issues that can be readily addressed.
Dr Len Kliman is one of Melbourne’s most experienced and respected obstetricians and gynaecologists.
With over three decades of experience, Dr Kliman has delivered over 20,000 babies and still counting.
in 2017, Dr Kliman was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to obstetrics and gynaecology.