You know the drill – regular prenatal visits, healthy eating (as humanly possible), prenatal vitamins, some exercise and rest, rest, rest. These are the key ingredients to a physically healthy pregnancy. While your physical health is crucial, so is your emotional health too. Pregnancy can feel like an out of body experience for some and can bring to the surface mixed emotions of happiness, grief and fear.
Here are few things you can do to make sure you’re whistling a happy tune until your due date:
Set Your Expectations
It’s important to mentally prepare and have realistic expectations about your pregnancy, labor, delivery and parenthood.
An easy way to do this is talk with other parents (expecting and non-expecting). You’ll be able to learn from each other’s perspectives and you will also discover that everything you are thinking and feeling is totally normal and you are not alone.
Read up on how your baby is progressing each week and take some classes on baby care and breastfeeding so you feel prepared when baby comes. This will help alleviate any overwhelming feelings you might harbor.
Know that if you don’t love being pregnant, that’s okay. No one ever said pregnancy was glamorous. And if you’re feeling one with your bump and totally an “earth mama,” that’s okay too!
Don’t Dwell on the Worries
Having concerns and worries is very common in pregnancy. The important thing is not to dwell too much on each worry. Acknowledge your concerns and take actions to help you feel more prepared. For example, if you have some concerns related to your health or labor, be sure to talk about them with your doctor or midwife.
A lot of moms-to-be worry they won’t be good moms – this is usually not case. Be confident and share your concerns with a health care professional or other mom – they will help put your worries at ease.
And as for the worries over what stuff you will need for the baby – you don’t need much when they are first born so have a few essentials on hand and figure out the rest as you go.
Accept the (Physical) Changes
Okay, the numbers on the scale are rising and your waistline is expanding. It can be a lot to handle, but try not to let your physical changes overwhelm you; you’re growing a baby after all. The best thing you can do for your mental state is accept and even embrace the changes in your body. Know that the weight will come off and your body will go back to normal.
And remember to de-stress and pamper yourself as much as possible. Write in a journal, get a pedicure, a prenatal massage or go for a walk (or have a bowl of ice cream – why not?!?). We also suggest relaxing by listening to your favorite playlist together with your baby on your Lullabelly music belt. Music can be the best medicine to soothe and relax your overworked body and stressed out mind.