We have this image of a floaty, glowing, happy mum-to-be cradling her bump, so when that isn’t the case (which I am pretty sure it isn't for most people) we can feel even worse. We are the biggest slave-driver of ourselves, trying to carry on as normal. Working, commuting, exercising and socialising, laughing through a tired head as ‘baby brain’, feeling guilty for eating what we are craving and that’s not even touching on the physical changes we’re experiencing which are challenging to handle.
Here are five ideas of things you can do on the days you're finding pregnancy tough.
5 things that can help you cope during your pregnancy
Writing down how you’re feeling can help so much, it can help you untangle all the thoughts and feelings and sometimes getting it down can help you release things, especially worries. It can also be helpful to write down things you’re grateful for…even if you don’t feel happy immediately, doing this consistently (or even thinking of things when you remember) can slightly alter your perspective and will make a difference over time.
Literally anything that can make you feel even 5% more relaxed can help. If you’re not feeling like you have time for deeper relaxation or aren’t able to have a lie down, then just some slow deep breaths, having a warm shower or listen to some relaxing music whilst you're doing something else (even working).
3. Limit stimulation
When you’re watching TV, trying to work, checking your phone and then going straight to bed you will feel rubbish (tried and tested so I know). I found it really helpful when I limited screen time on my phone (you can limit most apps between chosen times). The less stimulated I was by constant entertainment, comparing myself and everything else that comes on phones, the better I started to sleep and the less anxious I felt in the morning because I wouldn't wake up to a social media feed.
4. Breath properly
When we aren’t breathing properly it can really affect our nervous system and make us feel more anxious and stressed (as shorter, sharper and more tense breaths stimulate the ‘fight & flight’). If you make sure you’re breathing through your nose into your abdomen and not up into your shoulders (even though when you have a foetus growing in your womb that’s where it feels there is more space), and really try and spend a few minutes each day focussing on the breath and lengthening both the inhale and the exhale (especially the exhale) you will feel much calmer.
This can be done whilst you’re doing other things so it’s not something you even need to make more time for. If you can't focus on the breaths then even just breathing through the nose than through the mouth can be beneficial.
5. Talk to someone
Being honest about how you’re feeling can be so helpful. I opened up to a few of best friends and just knowing they knew how I felt and that I could call on them really helped me.By creating some more headspace and getting your body to relax amongst all the hard work it's doing, it can really make a difference to how you feel during your pregnancy, and having that time before the baby arrives can really positively impact how you feel mentally and physically when the baby arrives.Be sure to check out our pregnancy section for other expert-written advice on coping (and enjoying) pregnancy.
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