Biopsychosocial Aspects of Pregnancy

Clin. Psy. Naife Sevdalı Zaim


Pregnancy is one of the most important and complex phenomenon in a woman’s life. A normal pregnancy usually lasts about 9 months (40 weeks). The most common first symptoms of the pregnancy is a missed period, sensitive to smells, mood swings, feeling of fatigue, swollen or sore breasts. On the other hand, some pregnant women may have no symptoms at all. Most of the pregnant women do feel happy, excited, joy, and pleasant and many other positive feelings about their pregnancy. Does every pregnant women experiences same feelings? Some pregnant women feel sad, anxious, depressive, fear, inadequate, helpless, tiredness about their pregnancy. Pregnant women’s receives lots of information from other people or relatives about what to do, what to eat, how to cope with sickness related with the pregnancy, the psychological, social and physiological symptoms of pregnancy, how to give birth, how to breastfeed a baby and what kind of supplements do they need to take during and after the pregnancy. In relation to this, pregnancy period may become more complicated for pregnant women.


During pregnancy visible changes occur in a physical, psychological and social state that considers pregnancy as a biopsychosocial phenomenon. The pregnant mother experiences significant biological and physiological changes that can range from vision, sense of taste, smell, hair, skin and nail, breast, cervical, circulatory system, respiratory system and metabolic system change. These changes are due to the hormones produced by pregnant women’s placenta that have a broad range of effects during the pregnancy. Different hormones have an impact on mother in their own way. Significant changes in pregnant women’s hormone levels can affect brain chemicals that are responsible the regulation of the mood. In relation to this, these hormonal changes seems to have an important effect on pregnant women mental health that can lead them to experience wide range of emotions. The most important changes that play a crucial role on pregnant women mental health include body appearance, sexuality, perception of beauty, and emotionality. These psychological changes may lead pregnant women to experience frequent mood swings, anxiety, depressive reactions, sleepiness, exhaustion, and fatigue. In relation to this, it is normal to have a wide range of psychological problems during the pregnancy because pregnancy itself can be defined as a stressful experience. For these reasons, being pregnant increase the likelihood of developing mental health problems during the pregnancy as well as after the birth.


Consequently, pregnancy has either short or long-term impact on women’s physical and psychological and social health. Therefore, if pregnant women experiences mental health problems that may affect their daily life and functioning their relatives and health professionals must help them to receive appropriate treatment for their mental health concerns during the pregnancy as well as after the birth. Lastly, treatment for mental health problems during pregnancy and after giving birth can include; Psychotherapy, Behavioural Therapy, Pregnancy Group Therapies, Prescription Medicine, or Other Alternative Approaches such as; yoga, pilates, mediation, or exercise.