Throughout pregnancy, there are both physical and emotional challenges to overcome.
When a woman gets pregnant with her first child, she probably already has a good idea of many of the physical changes and challenges she’ll face over the next nine months, such as swollen ankles, discomfort, cravings etc. However, many women don’t realize that, in addition to the physical challenges of pregnancy, there are also many different emotional challenges as well. That’s why, in our last blog, our midwife in Venice went over a few of the most common emotional challenges pregnant women face. Here are a couple more.
Many women experience a heightened sense of anxiety during pregnancy, and this is especially true for women who have struggled with anxiety in the past. This anxiety is completely natural. After all, you’re bringing a new life into the world, and this new life is affected by everything you decide to eat, drink and do, and that’s a lot of pressure and responsibility. Then, when the baby is born, you have a whole new level of responsibility to get used to. But, there’s also an evolutionary explanation for the increase in anxiety during pregnancy. The fear and anxiety systems of the brain become more active during pregnancy, which helps to ensure that the new mom feels compelled to care for her new child, and to keep them protected and safe.
If you’ve ever found yourself bawling at a particularly sappy television commercial or weeping out of appreciation when your partner surprises you with your favorite meal, then you probably know what we mean when we say that pregnant women will often feel weepier than they usually do. But, you should know that a little weepiness is normal. Pregnancy is an emotional time as it is, and when you throw in discomfort and a lack of sleep, it’s easy to see how it can be difficult not to get weepy every once in a while. Additionally, though, the hormone fluctuations during pregnancy also play a contributing factor in feeling weepy. However, it’s important to note that, while a little weepiness is normal, approximately 10 percent of pregnant women suffer from pregnancy-related depression, so if you’re constantly feeling weepy, it might be time to talk to your doctor.
What can you do to combat the emotional downsides of pregnancy?
- Listen to your body – During pregnancy, you should never push yourself further than your body can handle. Listen to your body, and make it a point to give it what it needs.
- Get plenty of sleep – With a baby coming, chances are, you’re looking at some long, sleepless nights ahead, so now is the time to log as much rest as you can. If you’re uncomfortable, try a few different sleeping positions, and experiment with additional pillows for support.
- Eat well – As a general rule, the better you eat, the better you’ll feel, and that’s true whether you’re pregnant or not. Focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet to improve emotional stability.
- Get support – Don’t try to face all of the ups and downs of pregnancy on your own. Make it a point to rely on friends, family and anyone else in your support system.
If you’ve tried everything, and you feel that you’re still struggling with the emotional side of pregnancy, contact us! We’re happy to help!