StudyCorgi Psychology

Pregnant Women’s Mental Health Difficulties

Pregnant women, as well as females during a postpartum period, are vulnerable and might experience many mental health difficulties ranging from mild anxiety to depression. Mental health conditions affect the physical health which is crucial for a woman who is preparing to give birth to a child. According to research, depression and anxiety in pregnancy might cause “prenatal medical complications” (Kingston et al., 2015, p. 2). Therefore, the health of a child depends on both the mental and physical health of a mother. The knowledge about the specific emotions and their reasons in pregnant women help a therapist to identify the most effective ways of treatment.

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When it comes to pregnancy, such cultural implications as religious beliefs, family traditions, or specific roles a woman plays in a particular society might be crucial for effective counseling. Depending on cultural background, a woman during the prenatal period can experience the pressure of responsibility or other secondary stressors that could be potentially adverse for her health and the health of a child. A therapist has to identify the particular features of a woman’s cultural perception of pregnancy and provide services accordingly.

There are such resources as informational websites with numerous facts and guidelines on how to detect the signs of depression or anxiety and deal with them. Different mental health institutions provide services specifically for pregnant women. However, there is limited information concerning particular layers of this population, such as females using substances during pregnancy, adolescents, or ethnic minorities. It would be possible to address these gaps by initiating research in the corresponding areas to provide more information and treatment opportunities for such individuals.

I think that my practice in pregnant women therapy would be more effective if I had broader information about particular populations of pregnant women. The majority of available materials address common features of average women’s mental health issues without specifying the needs of women of different age, social or cultural background. Such information, as well as the methodology to work with them, would be helpful for my practice.


The research about pregnant women’s mental health issues included the analysis of the available information and its applicability to therapeutic services. The relevance of the sources used for the research is conditioned by the accuracy of the addressed problems and the ways of their resolution. Such information is essential for the therapists working with women experiencing depression or anxiety during prenatal and postpartum periods.

There are different reasons why pregnant women have mental health issues. They might struggle to deal with the common emotions associated with labor and postnatal period. However, there are more severe implications for therapeutic interventions, for example, medically complicated pregnancies when a woman is exposed to a higher level of conflicting emotions and stress (Kingston et al., 2015). A large number of females who need therapeutic services due to the medical difficulties of their pregnancies validates the relevance of the research.

Also, a specific age group of pregnant women might need specially designed psychotherapeutic interventions. Indeed, adolescent pregnancy is a complicated issue that is characterized not only by common psychological problems but specific features of the developmental stage of this age group and the social issues they might encounter.

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According to Hodgkinson, Beers, Southammakosane, and Lewin (2014), teenage pregnancy is of a high level of occurrence in the USA, and the diversity of circumstances accompanying this condition “can adversely affect maternal mental health, parenting, and behavior outcomes for their children” (p. 1). These particular issues addressed in the research are relevant to women during pregnancy and postpartum period due to the high occurrence of similar cases.


The research provides an insight into the mental health issues that pregnant women experience and the most effective methods to treat patients to ensure good health conditions and safety of both mothers and children. The data collected and analyzed in the process of studying the mental health needs of pregnant women positively influenced my practice as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). It enriched the scope of my knowledge about the diversity of issues related to childbearing depending on such factors as medical complications, age, and social or cultural background of a pregnant woman.

As a result of the research, I have received scientifically grounded information about the reasons for the psychological issues pregnant women encounter. One of the main causes, as highlighted by Barrios et al. (2015), is an exposition to violence and sexual abuse in childhood that causes a higher level of anxiety and depression in adulthood. Such women are more likely to show more severe symptoms related to pregnancy than those who were not victimized. This information is influential for my practice because it identifies the core of the problems and indicates the importance of the cause analysis as the basis for effective treatment.

Apart from the general information about common symptoms experienced by women who expect a child, I have enriched my theoretical knowledge of the particular mental health needs of adolescent mothers and women who were diagnosed with medical complications (Hodgkinson et al., 2014; Kingston et al., 2015). In my practice as a PMHNP, it will be of great importance to address the age differences and physical health issues to improve the efficacy of the psychotherapeutic interventions. However, the scope of literature available for the research of this topic does not provide a sufficient explicit methodology on how to conduct sessions for particular cases. I would like to have more information about the specific interventions that would apply to my practice as a PMHNP.


Barrios, Y. V., Gelaye, B., Zhong, Q., Nicolaidis, C., Rondon, M. B., Garcia, P. J., … Williams, M. A. (2015). Association of childhood physical and sexual abuse with intimate partner violence, poor general health and depressive symptoms among pregnant women. PLOS ONE 10(3), e0122573. Web.

Hodgkinson, S., Beers, L., Southammakosane, C., & Lewin, A., (2014). Addressing the mental health needs of pregnant and parenting adolescents. Pediatrics, 133, 1–9. Web.

Kingston, D., Janes-Kelley, S., Tyrrell, J., Clark, L., Hamza, D., Holmes, P., … Austin, M. P. (2015). An integrated web-based mental health intervention of assessment-referral-care to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in hospitalized pregnant women with medically high-risk pregnancies: A feasibility study protocol of hospital-based implementation. JMIR Research Protocols, 4(1). 1-15. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 28). Pregnant Women's Mental Health Difficulties. Retrieved from

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"Pregnant Women's Mental Health Difficulties." StudyCorgi, 28 Dec. 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "Pregnant Women's Mental Health Difficulties." December 28, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Pregnant Women's Mental Health Difficulties." December 28, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Pregnant Women's Mental Health Difficulties." December 28, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Pregnant Women's Mental Health Difficulties'. 28 December.

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