What About The Mental Health Of Mothers?

What about the mental health of mothers?

In recent times, the mental health of mothers has begun to receive more attention at a scientific, social, political level… It is important to be aware that This is an issue of special relevance because it does not only affect mothers, but has an impact on the entire society.

Regardless of our situation, all people are born from a mother. We are surrounded by mothers in our environment and, even so, we very rarely ask ourselves what is happening with their mental health. Over the course of this article we will look at the current reality of the situation and also explore what factors affect maternal mental health.

We have already commented that it is an issue with a high impact at a social and community level, but has been invisible for hundreds of years. Therefore, in addition to the aspects mentioned in the previous paragraph, we will delve into the possible consequences of its lack and ways to address this situation or even prevent it.

The reality of maternal mental health

Although it is true that in recent decades there has been greater interest in studying aspects related to the mental health of women mothers, this has focused a lot on research and visibility into the development of mental pathologies.

They have especially focused on postpartum depression. And, although this is an alarming situation due to its very high frequency, when we talk about maternal mental health we go—or should go—much further. Aspects such as emotional, mental, psychological and social well-being are those that should be prioritized in this sense.

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Unfortunately, many women currently develop some type of mental disorder during pregnancy or the postpartum period. If there is not correct detection in time, followed by specialized and appropriate support and treatment, the consequences can be really serious for both them and their environment.

Everything explained so far should prompt us to ask ourselves what is happening with all these mothers and what we can do as a society to care for them and accompany them as they need—and not from the paternalism into which we usually fall.

Interfering factors

Matrescence is the process by which the brain changes and allows pregnant women to transition towards motherhood in all aspects of their lives. This, without a doubt, has many consequences at different levels and none of them are pathological in and of themselves. It is essential to understand this process and not pathologize it unnecessarily.

However, we cannot ignore the large number of factors that can affect and harm a mother’s mental health. It is important to understand that these factors can also vary depending on the stage of motherhood in which each woman finds herself, since the needs of both the mother and the baby change.

Insisting on the need to observe the specific needs of each case, only some of the factors to take into account are mentioned below:

Consequences of lack of mental health in mothers

With everything explained so far, it is not difficult to assume that the lack of health in a mother can have serious consequences for herself, for her descendants, for the environment and for society in general.

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We live in a society in which individualism increasingly takes precedence over the collective. This fact is one of the most important factors and has most damaged the mental health of mothers since it has meant that most of the burden and responsibility of parenting, in addition to expectations and judgments, fall solely on them. .

In addition to the loss of support from the social network and the community, we must add the introduction of women into the world of work. This, in most cases, has not meant co-parenting but rather an overload for women—who are expected to produce as if they were not mothers and to mother as if they did not work.

Keeping all this in mind, it is easier to understand how the statistics of mental pathologies in the perinatal environment can be so high. The emotional suffering of the mother, and of course mental illness, has a considerable impact on the emotional, physical and mental development of the baby or infant.

We cannot forget that these children are the adults of tomorrow and, precisely for this reason, this issue represents a serious social problem and not only for mothers. Prevention is key, as are aspects such as rapid detection of warning signs and appropriate specialized intervention.

How can we address, improve and prevent this situation?

One of the main points to review as a society is the support and accompaniment that mothers receive. The path of motherhood does not begin in pregnancy but the transformation begins at the same moment that a woman connects with her desire to be a mother.

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At a medical level, there are many women who suffer obstetric violence and do not even know or can name it. It is essential to continue working to offer more updated and more sensitized training to healthcare personnel. Fortunately, more and more professionals are becoming aware and accompanying with respect.

Given the characteristics of our system, on many occasions there is a tendency towards paternalization of users. It is important that health personnel accompany women with information and empowerment to promote autonomy and non-instrumentalization or pathologization of natural processes when it is not really necessary.

At a social level, it is also essential to make visible the importance of mothers, their current situation and connect with the seriousness of the issue. It is important that each person review how they can contribute to this change in dynamics. Having updated and accurate information about existing needs is a key aspect that allows us to change patterns.

Only from this place of consciousness can we demand and demand changes at a legal and political level that adjust to the real needs of infants, mothers and families in general. Without a doubt, these improvements do not only affect families but impact society as a whole.