The First Steps: Supporting Mental Health During Pregnancy

The First Steps: Supporting Mental Health During Pregnancy

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

In the first trimester of pregnancy, moms start to prioritize the needs of their babies. This is important, but when you’re a mother, often your own needs are overlooked. Learning how to balance caring for another with your own health and well-being takes time and practice. While your physical health is closely monitored throughout pregnancy, sometimes mental health is ignored. However, your mental health will also shape your and your child’s experience during pregnancy and beyond.

The sooner you start finding a balance in meeting your own needs, the more prepared you’ll be for motherhood. On the other hand, if you are already well into your role as a mother, there are ways to strive for improved balance and harmony among all of your priorities. You and your family deserve it.

First Steps Recovery is here to support you and your family in every stage of motherhood. Your healing is our priority. Together, we can create a treatment plan to help you bring out your best self with each step forward.

What Makes a Healthy Pregnancy for Mother and Child?

Generally, the same things that will make a pregnancy happy and healthy for the mom will also benefit the baby. Aside from avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, there are a few elements that can impact your health during pregnancy.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, there are several lifestyle changes to consider for a healthy pregnancy, including:

  • Eating a nutritious and balanced diet. Although pregnancy is notorious for sparking some strange cravings, eating a balanced diet supports your baby’s development. A healthy diet also keeps you energized throughout the constant changes of pregnancy.
  • Physical movement. Generally, pregnant women can continue their regular exercise routines while being sure to honor their limits as the pregnancy progresses. Light movements such as yoga, walking, and swimming are great ways to maintain your physical health and calm your mind.
  • A strong support system. When a mother and baby have a strong village, the mental health of the mother and child is better supported.
  • Staying in contact with your prenatal physician. Consult with your doctor often to keep track of your experience and stay ahead of any potential complications or concerns. Your prenatal care coordinator will be able to help you monitor your health as well as your growing baby’s health. Maintaining your regular personal checkups during and after pregnancy is also important to help you maintain optimal health.

The Importance of Self-Care

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your child is to prioritize your health and well-being. In recent years, people have come to realize and honor the importance of mental health in a well-rounded life. Being physically well is a crucial part of a healthy pregnancy. Your mental health during pregnancy is just as vital for lasting wellness.

With so many rapid physical and hormonal changes, neglecting your well-being can have adverse effects on your wellness. Prioritizing your mental health during pregnancy sets you and your child up for a greater postpartum experience. As your child grows and continues to see you prioritize your well-being, your example will convey the importance of self-care.

Managing Mental Health During Pregnancy

Your mental health can impact your physical health and your child’s development. Prioritizing mental health during pregnancy and the years of parenting is not easy, however. In a society that often pushes women to overextend themselves until they reach burnout, self-care can feel selfish for some people.

It can be surprising to learn that prioritizing your well-being in parenthood has more benefits than complete selflessness ever will. Honoring your mental health needs will influence your children to consider and tend to their mental health as they grow. By honoring your right to mental wellness, you will serve as a shining example to your children. Mental wellness is the true mark of a strong, empowered, and healthy person.

Understandably, many people did not grow up with very much emotional and mental health guidance or support. This makes finding the balance between meeting your own needs and continuing to show up for your family more difficult. However, it’s never too late to learn more about this. There are specific tools, habits, and resources available to help you find strategies that work for you.

Ways to Support Your Mental Health During Pregnancy

Regardless of where you are in your experience as a mother, knowing your options for mental health care will set you up for success in motherhood. First Steps Recovery offers the following resources to support your healing and wellness each step of the way, including:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and dual–diagnosis care
  • Residential care
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family support to help clients and their loved ones develop and maintain healthier communication strategies
  • An alumni network that offers care and support after the initial treatment to prevent relapse and support continued efforts to heal and grow
  • Lifestyle changes that support your physical and mental health, stress reduction, and development of positive habits. Potential lifestyle changes include diet, exercise, mindfulness practices, becoming more aware and present in your daily life, and increased exposure to nature.

At First Steps Recovery, we will work with you to develop a well-rounded and realistic plan of action to support your unique recovery process.

First Steps Recovery for Mothers

Our team at First Steps Recovery offers direct support along with home resources for mental health care and addiction treatment. Whether you are overcoming addiction or simply working to improve your mental and emotional responses to life, our dedicated staff is here to offer our support.

A healthy pregnancy is important for both you and your child. The quality of your pregnancy can determine your mental and physical health and that of your baby. First Steps Recovery is here to help you stay on track to a healthy and happy pregnancy for you and your baby. Our team has the compassion and expertise needed to see you and your loved ones through to a more peaceful and harmonious lifestyle. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction during pregnancy, we are here to offer judgment-free care and support. We want to ensure that you and your growing child can live a beautiful and healthy life. Call us at (844) 489-0836 today. 

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