Aleda E. Lutz VA Shares Important Information for Pregnant Women Veterans
The Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center provides women Veterans with tools, resources and information they need to feel their best mentally and physically. May is Maternal Mental Health Month and we want women Veterans to know that many women experience mental health issues during the perinatal period. Our medical center has a Women’s Veteran Program Coordinator and Maternity Care Coordinator on location. Our VA offers many additional programs specific to maternity care and many resources and mobile apps are available. Our Maternity Care Coordinator, Tresha Peake, RN, can be reached at 989-497-2500, extension 13972. She is in frequent contact with our perinatal Veterans and assists with navigating heath care services, offering support for a successful pregnancy and ensuring any additional health care needs postpartum.
About one in seven women will experience depression after giving birth. For about half of these women, this is their first time dealing with depression. Anxiety symptoms during and after pregnancy are also common. Rates of perinatal depression may be even higher in women Veterans. Anyone can develop a mental health condition during or after pregnancy, however, women Veterans with a history of trauma may also find aspects of pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding and parenting upsetting because of increased trauma reminders.
Fortunately, these symptoms are treatable. Our VA providers understand how difficult talking about these symptoms can be. They can help women Veterans feel supported during these conversations and have the expertise in helping them with mental health symptoms during and after pregnancy. Asking for help is an important way for women Veterans to take care of themselves and their children.
There are many types of treatments which can ease mental health symptoms during and after pregnancy. These can include psychotherapy, light therapy, exercise and nutritional changes. In some cases, medication is also needed. VA providers can help women learn coping strategies. They can provide women Veterans with tools, resources and tailored treatment plans.
To learn more about Women’s Health in the VA, please visit: https://www.va.gov/health-care/health-needs-conditions/womens-health-needs/
The Aleda E. Lutz VAMC in Saginaw, Michigan operates an 81-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation Community Living Center. It provides care to over 37,400 Veterans in a 35-county geographic area, from mid-Michigan to the Mackinac Bridge. Veterans also receive care at one of our nine VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics located throughout Michigan. More information about this VA can be found at www.saginaw.va.gov.