This Expert Says All Pregnant Women Should Get Therapy and She’s Got a Great Point
When you think about it, pregnancy is a crazy time in our lives. As mothers, we physically grow a human being in our bodies. I mean, what?!
While you're just sitting there eating breakfast or taking a shower, you're growing body parts, people — body parts! An arm here, a leg there, an eyeball there. It's craziness. And then not only do you have an incredible amount of physical change happening to your body and inside your body, but literally every aspect of your life changes during pregnancy. From the way you breathe to the way you will see yourself forever, your world changes in nine months.
Now, let's not panic because of what I'm saying here. I fully realize when you put pregnancy in that light, it sounds really scary, doesn't it? There is no need to panic. But there is more to pregnancy than a baby shower, registering for gifts, and comparing your baby to a size of a fruit. Pregnancy is about so much more.
And that's precisely why one expert thinks that pregnant women need one very important piece of care that they currently aren't getting:
Yup, that's right.
Cindy Lamothe, a specialist to The Washington Post, recently described why she feels that every woman should receive automatic therapy during pregnancy.
Her reasoning actually made a lot of sense, because she pointed out how people usually consider therapy during major life transitions, such as a divorce or even after changing careers, and what bigger life transition is there than pregnancy? And actually, when you think about it, pregnancy, even as wonderful as it is and how much it can give us, is a loss of sorts, too. If you're a first-time mom, you may even grieve some parts of your life that you will lose. You may be glad to lose them, you may even welcome the loss of your abs or your stretch mark-free stomach or your free time, but still, they were a part of your life before and now they are not.
And there is more to health than just our physical well-being and that's something that luckily, we are embracing more and learning more about every day. Doctors today aren't as likely to write off a new mother's depression as just “hormones” or expect women to just suffer through without help. Today, we know that physical and mental health are equally important and intertwined — and in pregnancy, those two are even more connected.
“Women, who are advised to exercise and watch what they eat while they are pregnant, don't always think of psychotherapy as an important part of their prenatal care regimen, but it can be critical to the well-being of mother and baby, both during and after pregnancy,” Lamothe pointed out.
Other experts, like Dr. Jessica Zucker, a clinical psychologist in California who specializes in women's reproductive and mental health, backed Lamothe up. “Motherhood is an identity shift,” she noted. And when you think about all of the unique issues that motherhood brings up — any previous losses, our own issues with our families, and relationship changes, it starts to feel crazy that we don't all enroll in therapy as soon as we get pregnant. There's a lot to juggle there.
Bottom line, we know now more than ever that pregnancy, as “natural” and wonderful as it can be, is also a time of significant change, so if you feel like you could benefit from some kind of therapy, you should not be ashamed to try it out.
Would you consider therapy during your pregnancy?