Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Mental Health

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Mental health while planning a pregnancy

female veteran outside drinking coffee

Women Veterans

Mental health while planning a pregnancy

If you are considering or planning a pregnancy, it’s a great time to take stock of your mental health. When planning a pregnancy, it’s important to remember that improving your well-being and lowering your stress increases the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. The sooner you can prevent or address any mental health challenges, the better outcome you’re likely to have. It’s never too soon or too late to take care of your mental health. In therapy, you may discover tools that will help you through other events and life stages, including the often-difficult postpartum phase (the first year after giving birth) and early parenthood.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your VA provider about your mental health history and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Do not stop taking any prescribed medicines without first consulting your provider, as doing so could be harmful to you or your baby.

Are you planning a pregnancy and interested in improving your mental health? Complete the checklist for preconception mental health planning.

Checklist for preconception mental health planning

  • Are you sometimes anxious in a way you think is disproportionate to circumstances?
  • Have you felt sad, down or depressed?
  • Do you wish you could handle anger differently?
  • Have you experienced very stressful or traumatic situations in the past that still affect you?
  • Do you sometimes use alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis or other substances in an attempt to relax or cope?
  • If you have a partner, do you want to improve the way you and your partner communicate or share household responsibilities?
  • Do you feel confident that you can manage most stress without feeling overwhelmed?
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition, have you spoken with a mental health clinician about how the symptoms could affect a pregnancy or how pregnancy could affect your condition?
  • If you’re taking medication for mental health, have you spoken with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the pros and cons of continuing the medication while pregnant?

If you answered yes to any of the questions 1–6 or no to any of the questions 7–9, consider speaking with your primary care provider or mental health clinician about treatment options for preconception mental health.

Related Links

Newsletter Sign Up

Receive monthly emails about the latest mental health and suicide prevention resources and research from VA.

Help for Homeless Veterans: 877-4AID-VET
 VA Health Care: Apply Now
Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274
eBenefits: My Gateway to Benefit Information
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer
Veterans Health Benefits Guide
Veterans Health Library
Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-VA-WOMEN