You do you – Well-being during pregnancy
Looking after yourself in pregnancy
While a lot of attention gets paid to looking after yourself physically in pregnancy through diet and exercise, for example, looking after yourself mentally and emotionally is as important. After all, hormones aside, this is a life-changing event.
Many women struggle with putting their mental health first, but there are ways to ensure that you don’t become overwhelmed when pregnant. When ‘doing you’, it’s important to reflect on other factors in your life that may cause stress and/or have a negative impact, after all, not everything is about your pregnancy. It can also be helpful to identify where and how you may be able to draw on positive aspects such as your support networks or other services to help you. This may include, for example, being aware of health professionals that you feel comfortable and confident to approach for information or advice, friends that you feel you can confide in, and family, friends or services that you can draw on should you need additional support.
Another way that you can look after yourself in pregnancy is through being aware of changes in your mood. Whilst we are often very aware of the physical changes that are occurring to our bodies, sometimes, we forget to focus on the impact that these changes can have on us mentally.
To do this, it is a good idea to learn about conditions like depression and anxiety that commonly occur in pregnancy. Learning about the common signs and symptoms can help you to identify what to look for and to speak with your health professional. Remember the faster you seek help, the greater the likelihood of having a quicker recovery.
Being well is not only best for you as you prepare to become a mom, but also for your growing baby and your partner.
For advice about staying well in pregnancy visit the Perinatal Mental Health Project.