Pregnancy and Marital Difficulties

It is not uncommon for couples to have some degree or another of marital difficulties during pregnancy.  The excitement of having a baby, while a good thing, can also heighten emotions in general.  In addition, the stress that first-time parents feel when they think about becoming parents can be overwhelming.  Add to that the fact that pregnancy can definitely cause mood swings, and you have a recipe for marital difficulties.

The most important thing about dealing with marital difficulties during pregnancy is communication.  If two future parents cannot talk now about the things that are bothering them, what will life be like when their baby is born?  How will they communicate then?  The fact of the matter is that keeping the lines of communication open are a key part of the success of any relationship, whether the couple is pregnant or not.

Managing mood swings can help ease marital difficulties during pregnancy.  There are some important things that you can do to reduce the number and intensity of mood swings.  Making sure that you are getting enough sleep will help your mood at any time, not just during pregnancy.  Getting regular exercise or other physical activity will help, as well, because this causes your brain to release important chemicals that help to improve your mood.  Nutrition plays an important role in your mood, as well.  Eating a balanced diet, and avoiding sugary foods and caffeine will help to keep you on more of an even keel.

During pregnancy, you should also try to keep an eye out for the signs of depression.  Things like sleep disturbances, memory loss, a change in eating habits, and irritability can all indicate that a person is depressed.  While many of these things can be a natural part of pregnancy as well, it is important to keep on top of any risk that you have of depression.  Depression, when left untreated, can be dangerous for both you and for your baby.

During pregnancy, depression can be treated.  Therapy, some of the safer antidepressant medications, and a social support structure all together will help you to make it through this difficult time.  If you believe that you are suffering from depression, you should contact your health care provider immediately.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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