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Women's Behavioral Health: Pregnancy Loss Services at UPMC in South Central Pa.

The psychiatrists and therapists at Women’s Behavioral Health Specialists help women manage mental health conditions that occur as a result of pregnancy loss.

Treatment for stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions after pregnancy loss depends on the specific cause, your symptoms, and the severity of your condition. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend one or more treatments, including:

  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. These medications may be prescribed to treat symptoms that are moderate to severe. However, before prescribing medication, your physician will consider your plans for future childbearing and the impact on your developing baby should you become pregnant again, as well as how the medication may interact with other medications you are taking.
  • Counseling. Our practice offers one-on-one counseling and group therapy to help women discuss and manage stress, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Our specialists may also recommend, exercise therapy, light therapy, or other alternation treatment option to help you manage your condition.

What are the mental health issues related to pregnancy loss?

Whether you experience miscarriage, fetal death, ectopic pregnancy, or pregnancy termination/disruption, pregnancy loss is a traumatic event that can cause sadness, grief, guilt, and a range of other emotions. As a result, some women develop feelings of depression and anxiety that are severe and don’t go away.

Mental health issues that require treatment after pregnancy loss may include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Marital or relationship stress
  • Feelings of loss and grief
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What are the symptoms of mental health issues related to pregnancy loss?

Although it is normal to experience a variety of emotions after pregnancy loss, you should get help if you experience symptoms of depression or anxiety that last for more than a few days. Symptoms may include:

  • A loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Depression that doesn't seem to go away
  • Strain in your personal relationships
  • Difficulty thinking about anything other than your pregnancy loss
  • High levels of anxiety, stress, or worry
  • Inability to focus on completing tasks and difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in sleep patterns (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, early morning awakening, sleeping more than usual)
  • A marked increase or decrease in your appetite and weight
  • An increase in your use of drugs or alcohol
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Social isolation
  • Persistent feelings of pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, bitterness, or anger

Symptoms of mental health issues may show up shortly after pregnancy loss, but could also develop weeks, months, or years later.

Who is at risk for mental health issues related to pregnancy loss?

Anyone who experiences a pregnancy loss can develop related emotional and behavioral issues. However, if you have a personal or family history of mental health conditions, you may be at a higher risk of developing a mental health condition related to pregnancy loss.

How can I prevent mental health issues related to pregnancy loss?

Pregnancy loss can cause all sorts of feelings, including depression, stress, and worry. The best way to prevent mental health issues is to be proactive about your mental and emotional condition and get help at the first signs of problems.

It may help to eat well, exercise, give yourself time during the day to relax, and spend time doing activities you enjoy. Deep breathing, yoga, massage, and guided imagery may help you relax.

Need more information?

Phone: 717-988-9430

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