Taking care of your mental health

Between physical changes, big emotions, and unpredictable hormones, mental health and emotional wellness can feel a little unpredictable during pregnancy. It’s also for exactly these reasons that taking a little extra care for mental and emotional well-being is so important during this time.

The term “mental health” can feel like an intimidating way to start to think about moods and emotions, but moods and emotions can have a huge impact on overall wellness.

Emotional wellness

A focus on emotional wellness can begin at any time, and can be extremely helpful even in people who are never diagnosed with mental health conditions or concerns. You can focus on emotional wellness by taking time to notice patterns in your feelings, by figuring out positive ways to talk about your emotions with the important people in your life, and even by talking to a psychologist about patterns you notice, and positive ways to cope with them.

Mental health conditions during pregnancy

There are a few questions around mental and emotional health that are specific to pregnancy. These questions relate both to mental health concerns themselves and to treatment options.

It’s true that, on top of the normal stresses and concerns that surround pregnancy, there are specific mental health concerns that can go with pregnancy, including peripartum depression (depression during or after pregnancy) and related concerns like peripartum anxiety and the much rarer peripartum psychosis. These conditions are medical concerns which should be treated for the health of both mom and baby.

Another pregnancy-specific mental health concern centers around the safety of medication for mental health treatment during pregnancy. All medication decisions during pregnancy should go through a healthcare provider, but there are a few general truths about mental health medication during pregnancy. First, while there are a few mental health medications that are considered somewhat risky during pregnancy, they’re generally not the medications which are prescribed, for exactly this reason. Second, if a mental health medication is being prescribed, it’s because a healthcare provider has determined that an untreated mental health condition is itself dangerous to mom and baby, and needs treatment.

How can I take care of my mental health?

Your Optima Health plan includes coverage for mental healthcare. Finding the right kind of mental healthcare during pregnancy and after might include medication, counseling, or some mix of the two.

If you need immediate assistance, please call member services at the number on the back of your member ID card or call 800-741-9910.

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