How to take care of your emotional health during pregnancy

Pregnant woman on the bed
Pregnancy is a time of great change for you and your partner. Although pregnancy is a happy time for many, the changes and adjustments can increase your stress level and affect all aspects of your life. Pregnancy creates unique stressors for you and your partner. These include:
  • Physical discomforts
  •  Hormonal changes/mood swings
  • The health of you and your baby
  •  Coping with labor and delivery – fear of the unknown
  •  Becoming a parent
  • Changing relationships with your partner, family, and friends 
  • Financial concerns.

Tips on how to take care of your emotions during pregnancy

Take time out for yourself every day

Do something you enjoy that’s just for you. Take a warm bath, chill out to some music, close your eyes, gently massage your bump – whatever makes you feel peaceful.

Talk to someone you trust

Getting things off your chest and talking your worries through with an understanding and trustworthy friend, family member or work colleague can make all the difference. Talk about how you’re feeling.

Stay active every day

Exercise releases endorphins that will lift your mood. You don’t have to do aerobics classes or hit the gym. Just try to make staying active part of your everyday life. For example, you could go for a walk or do some office exercises. This can reduce stress and it’s good for your unborn baby, too. 

Rest when you need to

It’s hard to feel cheerful if you’re exhausted and uncomfortable, so make sure you take time to rest when you can.

Ask for practical help from family or friends

Can they cook you a meal, help with the shopping, or look after your children? Family and friends are there to support you, so don't be afraid to ask for help.

Be realistic about how much you can do (whether at work, at home, or in your social life)

We are all be guilty of taking too much on for fear of letting someone down. Saying no can be tricky, but now you need to take care of yourself. The people around you will understand if you need to say no. 
Eat well

A balanced and varied diet will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop. 

Be informed

If something’s worrying you, talk to your midwife or doctor about your options and where you can get support. You can talk to our midwives too! 

Meet other pregnant women or new parents at local groups or on online forums

Ask your midwife or children’s centre what’s available locally. Sharing your feelings with other people having similar experiences can help you feel less isolated.

Don’t believe the hype

It may seem like everyone else is happy and coping all the time, but everyone will be facing their own challenges. Lots of women feel low in pregnancy or after birth, but a lot of people hide their real feelings, especially in public. 

When to get help

Feeling emotional during pregnancy is common because of hormone changes. But it’s important to ask for help if you are feeling sad more than you are feeling happy.

Talk to your midwife or GP about how you feel if you’re feeling low for more than a couple of weeks. They can help you find ways to look after your emotional health, including getting extra help and treatment if needed.
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