Looking after your emotional health during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be one of the most wonderful times in a person’s life. It can also be one of the most challenging, with hormones swirling and changes physically and emotionally. Psychologist Dr. Sasha Lynn offers some advice on how to look after your emotional health during pregnancy.
Whilst there are certainly many physical changes during pregnancy, there are also a lot of emotional changes going on too. Little things can seem like big things, and big things can be completely overwhelming. Emotional health is all about feeling balanced, feeling well in yourself, and being able to handle whatever comes your way. During pregnancy with all the changes going on, your emotions can take a hit too. But there are a few things you can do to help look after emotional health during pregnancy:
Prepare for the ups and downs
Build a support network
One day at a time
When it comes to emotional health, it’s not about ‘just being positive’ because let’s face it, stuff happens. And pregnancy can be a vulnerable time in your life, where there may be complications or issues that arise. But the key to emotional health is balance. Taking the good and the not-so-good and helping keep things at an even keel. When I was pregnant with my third child, I was in a very stressful environment, and it left me with panic and belly cramps. Definitely not keeping things in balance!
There are many ways to try and keep things balanced. Ensuring you’ve got a good balance of gentle exercise, a healthy well-balanced diet, and a decent amount of sleep, or at least attempting to get a decent amount of sleep, are great places to start. Also balancing out your thoughts, countering those stressful or upsetting ones with some more helpful thoughts on a situation, is really valuable.
There are some great tools out there to help keep track of how you’re going, like Bupa’s mummatters. It’s free, developed by experts based on research, and can be a great way for all women to track how they are feeling during pregnancy and after birth too.
And if more help is ever needed, mummatters can help you find sources of help and support.
If you think you may be experiencing anxiety or depression during pregnancy, reach out to a trusted family member, friend or your health professional, who can help get you back on track.