Dentists and doctors and check-ups…OH, MY!
Mental health is not only about your brain or your emotions. It is about whole body health. Most women pay extra attention to their physical health during pregnancy; but, it is quite frequent that new moms forget about their own physical health in lieu of caring for their little one. It is even more common for moms suffering from PMADs to neglect themselves. Whether you have been in perfect health your whole life or not. Whether you had an easy, complication-free pregnancy and delivery or not. Whether you feel like something is wrong or not, regular, routine healthcare is important to your ability to be the best mom you can be. Although there are many ways to take care of yourself and many specialists you can see, here are some of the basics to take care of asap. Whether you see Naturopathic/Homeopathic providers, Western Medicine/mainstream providers or both, it never hurts to let them know what you are dealing with emotionally so they can support and advise you within their specialties.
Many women’t vision changes during pregnancy or afterward. It is very important to get your vision checked in the 6 months – 1 year after baby is born. Even if you are someone who never wore glasses or contacts before. Without realizing it, your vision could be affecting your mood, frustration levels and could be causing headaches or tired eyes separate from the fatigue you are experiencing. More reliable information here: http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/pregnancy-and-vision
As well as vision, make sure you are getting regular (twice a year if your insurance allows it) dental check-ups and cleanings. It has been widely found that those suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders often suffer from dental issues as well. It is difficult to make and keep appointments when you are suffering from PMADs but it is very important that you enlist your support system to help you do so. Dental issues can greatly affect your mood, cause increased depression or anxiety, and make an already difficult day even more uncomfortable with physical pain. Even if you are not feeling dental pain, you could have problems starting and preventative care is best in addressing this before it happens.
And finally, the dreaded Annual Physical Exam. These are almost always covered by current insurance plans so take full advantage. This is a chance to make sure you are not losing too much weight due to depression, that your lab tests are all WNL. Often when a mom is experiencing a PMAD, she does not eat properly or get enough outside time in the sun. This can lead her to be deficient in Vitamin D3, iron or other nutrients that are important to stabilizing and lifting your mood. Also, during a physical exam, your PCP can run a Thyroid test. If this is not routinely done, ask for it. Thyroid issues can impact your mood quite a bit. It is important to get this tested if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Ask your partner, family or friends to help you schedule and keep appointments if necessary. Whatever it takes….healthy mom = healthy baby.