Live Better. Love Better. Work Better.

9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Mental Health During Pregnancy, Part 1

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

So, you got a positive pregnancy test and you are realizing that your entire life is changing hugely. First of all, congratulations! People will be thrilled to share their own experiences with you, as well as all of their opinions (some of which you may not want.) Do yourself a favor and get into the habit of taking everything with a grain of salt. Take things one day at a time, and remember that this is something that will be easier navigated as a “journey” as opposed to a “destination.” Pregnancy and motherhood will bring ups and downs, and navigating your way through this while trying to balance a life of your own, is no easy feat. Did you know that a recent study found that postpartum depression often begins before a woman gives birth? Here are some things that soon-to-be mothers should know.

What Are 9 Things Every Woman Should Know About Mental Health During Pregnancy? Part I

Pre-baby anxiety is highly common and a list of “what ifs” running through your brain like wildfire is completely normal. Many people see this as a “normal” part of expecting, and for the most part – it is. However, tread lightly because the research suggests that it could be the sign of something more serious to come.

What is Postpartum Depression? 

Scientists have linked postpartum depression to a dramatic drop in hormone levels after giving birth. Recent findings have suggested that there are other biological triggers as well. 60% of mothers with moderate postpartum depression experienced complications during their pregnancy and maternal depression is not a “one-size-fits-all” scenario. Therapists that specialize in anxiety and depression disorders suggest the following advice for every soon-to-be Mom.

  1. Pregnant women need to pay attention to their emotions 

One of the key takeaway points from studies and the research is that women should take their feelings seriously and pay attention to them. Numbing, ignoring, and suppressing will not do you any good, as it will likely grow and come back up later. If you don’t feel right, something needs to be done about it for you to make changes that you want and feel better, or more like yourself.

  1. Depression isn’t your fault 

It’s crucial for partners and new mothers to understand that finger-pointing and trying to find fault in perinatal struggles before or post-giving birth is no one’s “fault.” Even if it was, what good does finding fault in a situation do you anyways? Still, something needs to be alleviated and done about it.

  1. You are not alone 

The unfortunate reality is that mental health symptoms are the most common complication of childbirth (Hinrich, 2015). Our culture and society today tell and show us that new mothers “should” be strong, happy, excited, and joyful – also known as the “myth of motherhood.” However, in reality, it doesn’t always look like this, and that’s okay. This expectation causes some women to feel embarrassed or reluctant to get help, which is part of the problem. What we need is a broad cultural awareness that it is common to have symptoms and struggle at times.

Check out the second part of this two-part blog series to find out the other six (of nine) things every woman should know about mental health during pregnancy. Thanks for reading and following along, and good luck with everything as you work your way through one of the most exciting journeys of your life!


Dibenedetto, C. (2015). 9 things every woman should know about mental health during pregnancy. Retrieved from:

Symmetry Counseling Recent News Image 4
Recent Posts

When to Go to Couples Therapy? When You Notice These 3 Sign

Apr 30, 2024

Zoe Mittman, LSW If you’re asking the question “when to go to couples therapy”, you are in the right place. I am going to spend some time talking about 3 signs couples therapy may be a good fit for you.…

Read More

Healing the Heart – Tips for How to Get Over a Breakup

Apr 23, 2024

Breakups can be extremely difficult for both the heart and the mind. Grieving the loss of a relationship is taxing both mentally and emotionally. Whether you initiated the breakup or are the individual being broken up with, the pain and…

Read More

Surviving the Holidays: 5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Apr 16, 2024

Paula Gonzalez MA, LPC, ADHD-CCSP, CIMHP                                                                                         The Christmas holiday season can be filled with “tidings of comfort and joy!.” It can also be filled with lots of invitations to holiday parties that will have you “rockin’ around the Christmas tree…

Read More