How can mental wellness affect your health?

An important part of your health is your emotional and mental wellness. If you are feeling sad, depressed, anxious, or have a lot of stress, this can affect your health. Also, if you get pregnant, depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns can affect your health during and after pregnancy. If you already have children, your mental health also affects the health of your family. This is why it is important to receive help for any mental health problems, especially before you become pregnant.

Tips to boost your mental health

  • Practice gratitude at least once a week. Studies show that reflecting on what we’re grateful for improves our quality of life. Keep a gratitude journal and write three things every day for which you feel grateful and why.   
  • Perform acts of kindness. It can be sending a note of appreciation to a friend, letting someone cut in front of you in line, or helping an elderly person carry their groceries. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.  
  • Get physically active. Exercise reduces stress and relieves anxiety and depression. Being out in nature can also lift your mood.  
  • Be good to yourself. You’ll be healthier and happier if you treat your body well. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious foods, and learn ways to manage stress, such as meditation and relaxation exercises.  

How can mental wellness affect pregnancy?

People with poor mental health before pregnancy, such as depression, are more likely to experience depression after pregnancy, called post-partum depression. People with postpartum depression can have difficulty bonding with their children. Anxiety can also make it difficult to bond with a child. The bonding between a person and their child is very important for a child’s health. Children who have a parent with postpartum depression are more likely to have health and developmental problems. Depression during pregnancy also increases the risk of the baby being born too small or too early. That’s why it’s important to get help now before you get pregnant.

Where can you find help?

If you have feelings of depression, anxiety or have any other mental health problems, it is important to get help. There is treatment and support available to help you improve your mental health.

  • Talk to your doctor or other health care professional for resources that can help.
  • You can find a health care provider or treatment here. You can also call the National Institute of Mental Health toll free at 1-866-615-6464. Click for a list of mental health 24-hour crisis intervention numbers.
  • If you need to talk to someone immediately, you can call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS is the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline and offers a 24/7, free, confidential hotline for pregnant and new moms in English and Spanish or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text "HELLO" to 741741. You can call this number for any of these reasons:
    • Call to speak with someone who cares
    • Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself
    • Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area
    • Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you're concerned about

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