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3150R.TSD Preconception counselling video for women with a mental illness

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Hello. Are you currently experiencing difficulties with your mental health? Or have you been given a diagnosis of a mental health condition? If so, and you are thinking about starting a family, this video is for you. The video aims to provide you with useful information about becoming pregnant when you have a mental health condition, including some important considerations you should make. You will then be able to have an informed discussion with a healthcare professional. So, what do you need to think about before you become pregnant? You may find it helpful to get a pen and a piece of paper so you can think about some of these questions. Have a think about what your life looks like at the moment. Perhaps you could talk to your partner, family, friends or mental health practitioner. Are you currently experiencing any mental health symptoms, and how are they affecting you? Are you working, do you have any interests and how are your relationships? Are you able to look after yourself or do you rely on someone else? You might want to pause the video to think about the answers to these questions. Knowing what happens when you are unwell can help guide your care. What are the early warning signs that your mental health is deteriorating? Do you become irritable or withdrawn? Does your sleep change? Are you able to look after yourself? How does this affect you and what treatment might you need? Many people find having an action plan helpful. This may include what you and others should do when you become unwell, as well as identifying who should be contacted for help. You could pause the video here to think more about this. Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are naturally full of challenges. It’s therefore no surprise that up to 1 in 5 women will experience mental health problems in pregnancy and immediately after labour. Fathers also have a higher risk of becoming unwell at this time, especially if they are vulnerable to mental illness. Certain factors can mean you are more at risk than others to develop mental illness. These include: being currently unwell a history of mental illness in pregnancy a family history of mental illness in pregnancy having a diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder or Schizophrenia. If you were to become mentally unwell during pregnancy or after labour, you may find it hard to cope. For instance, your mental illness may impact on your ability to; Care for yourself Care for your baby Recognise what your baby wants This in turn can affect your baby’s emotional wellbeing and development. This is often referred to as bonding or attachment. Untreated illness may also impact on other areas of your child’s behavioural and cognitive development. It can even effect their own mental health. However, by thinking about things now and taking action early, you are helping to reduce any lasting effects. Whist it may feel really difficult to open up, letting people know about your difficulties and how you are feeling is the most important first step. Have a think about who may be able to support you. For example, family, friends, your GP, midwife, obstetrician, a mental health practitioner or your psychiatrist. Letting people know means those around you can work together to support you. It is quite normal to worry about taking medication during pregnancy. If you are taking medication for your mental health, there are generally three options: Stop, Swap or Continue. What to do will depend upon the medication, your current mental health and any risks. If you are taking medication it is important to talk to your mental health practitioner before you become pregnant, as some psychiatric medications carry a higher risk to the unborn baby than others. For instance, some medications may: affect the development and growth of your baby in the womb increase the risk of them being premature or impact on how well they will cope immediately after birth These risks may sound scary, but it’s worth considering them against the risks of your illness being left untreated. You may wish to pause the video here. Perhaps write down what your life is like with medication and without. Ultimately it comes down to weighing up the risks vs. benefits for you. If you decide to stop your medication, please speak to a healthcare professional about how to do this safely. Alternative treatment options such as talking therapies or support from a trained mental health professional may be available. Information about the safety of medications changes as further research becomes available. If you would like more information about your medication, take a look at this website. There are some medications which are safe during breastfeeding, and some which aren’t as safe. Therefore thinking about whether you want to breastfeed may help to inform any decisions you make about continuing medication. Your midwife and mental health team will be able to discuss this with you further. There is often no right or wrong decision on how to manage your mental health during pregnancy. Please take time to think about the areas covered in this video and then speak to a health professional about your options. By spending time planning now, there’s no reason why you can’t have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 26 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 0
Posted by: richardwh on Mar 7, 2017

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