Feelings, Relationships, and Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a confusing time in a woman’s life, as challenging as it is exciting, and there’s no limit to the range of emotions expectant mothers may experience. The trouble is that there’s often so much to prepare that the emotional experience of bringing a child into the world can become less of a priority. Fortunately, it’s possible to manage your feelings and relationships through pregnancy with a few simple tips.
Draw on your support network
Feelings of vulnerability and exhaustion are common amongst pregnant women, raising the importance of emotional support from family, friends, and professionals. Having a family and a group of friends who can give you the emotional support you need to navigate your pregnancy is a true blessing, whether that support is in-person or remote. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that even when face-to-face contact is not possible, there are plenty of ways to prioritise your social connections. When you need a pick-me-up, try everything from family video calls to online film festivals with your friends!
Look after your health
No matter what direction your life takes, your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, and that relationship tends to be at its best when you’re looking after your body. In combination with plenty of nutrients, water, and rest, gentle exercise like swimming or walking will help you stay healthy. Just be sure to clear any nutritional and exercise plans with your doctor at your regular appointments.
Listen to your body
It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience physical and mental health challenges, but it can be difficult to understand and accept them, especially if you think you should be feeling excited or happy. Although some tough days are to be expected, more intense symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression shouldn’t go untreated. If you find yourself experiencing panic attacks, persistent worry, or abrupt mood swings, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with your doctor or midwife.
Talk about money
If the thought of becoming financially responsible for a new human or facing a decrease in household income causes you stress, you’re not alone. Finances are a significant source of stress for a new family, especially while one or both parents are taking time off work, but you can ease some of the pressure in two simple steps. First, have an honest discussion with your partner about any financial concerns and come up with a plan together. Then, consider looking into alternative sources of income during the end stages of pregnancy and the first few months after the birth. Spending a few months at home could be a perfect opportunity to start a side hustle!
Talk about sex
Becoming pregnant can completely change your personal relationship with sex and, by extension, affect your relationship with your partner. Whether you want more or less sex during your pregnancy, it’s important to be open about those feelings; otherwise, dissatisfaction may morph into resentment, the opposite of what you need during this emotional time. Keep your discussions respectful and constructive, and you’ll both come out on top.
Make plans with your partner
Having a supportive partner to help you navigate pregnancy and new motherhood is a blessing, and with the right level of attention and care, this relationship will blossom. There are plenty of ways to bond with your partner as you move through this stage of your life, from shopping for baby supplies to attending antenatal classes together, but don’t underestimate the power of a simple discussion. Talk to your partner about everything from your worries and emotional challenges to your plans for the future and how you would like to raise your baby.
Bringing a child into the world is no easy feat, and new mothers deserve all the support they can get. If you find yourself struggling to adapt to the brave new world of soon-to-be parenthood, just remember that you are not alone. With the right support behind you, you’ll be creating healthier relationships with your emotions, your partner, and your new addition in no time.