Pregnancy can be a time of unexpected changes and transitions. Do not be alarmed if you experience a wide range of emotions. You are not alone. This blog post will suggest things you can do to help manage and promote your mental well-being during pregnancy.
While you may feel guilty if you are struggling with negative thoughts and emotions, changes to your mental health are often due to circumstances outside of your control. These circumstances could include changing hormone levels, stressful events you may be facing and taking on the new physical and emotional demands of pregnancy.
Why is mental health so important? Taking care of your mental health improves your overall well-being and quality of living.
Tips for Promoting Mental Well-Being
- Light Exercise: Light, regular exercise is a great way to improve mental and physical health. Ideas include yoga, walking or other low-impact aerobic exercises. Completing these activities outside and getting sunlight can also help you feel refreshed.
- Nutrition: What you put in your body can affect how you feel. Avoid things like caffeine and sugar. Instead, fuel your body with regular, nutritious meals. Hydration is also important, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Give Yourself Grace: Avoid placing unrealistic expectations on yourself. Take it easy and be patient with yourself. It is okay to take breaks and ask for help when needed.
- Rest: Getting quality sleep is essential. If you have difficulty sleeping at night, try to set aside time during the day to rest or take a nap.
- Hobbies: Take time to do activities that are meaningful to you – reading, playing an instrument, painting, etc. Doing so can help improve your mood. Try thinking of ways to incorporate those activities into your daily routine, such as listening to an audiobook, your favorite music or a podcast when going for a walk or cleaning the house.
- Social Support: Spend time with people who make you feel supported and seen. Talk about what you are going through with a loved one or health professional. Whether it is family, friends, or someone else, identifying and leaning into a support network that cares for you is crucial during this time.
Note: These tips do not take the place of professional help. If you are experiencing strong, consistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, helplessness or anxiety, talk to your doctor about receiving additional support for your mental health. You can also ask a staff member at Alpha Center for referrals to counselors or other medical professionals in your area.
- Bar, M. A., & Jarus, T. (2015). The effect of engagement in everyday occupations, role overload, and social support on health and life satisfaction among mothers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12, 6045-6065. doi:10.3390/ijerph120606045
- Bedaso, A., Adams, J., Peng, W., & Sibbritt, D. (2021). The relationship between social support and mental health problems during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta analysis. Reproductive Health, 18(162). https: //doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01209-5
- Heal thy Parents Heal thy Children. (2021). Mental health in pregnancy. https : //www.heal thyparentshealthychildren.ca/im-pregnant /over view-ofpregnancy/mental-health/#:~: text=Take%20t ime%20ever y%20day%20to,and%20eat%20at%20regular%20times .
- Pregnancy Birth and Baby. (2019). Mental wellbeing during pregnancy. https: //www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/mental-wellbeing-during-pregnancy
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month (6th Ed.).