I’m over 35 weeks into growing baby three now, and it’s safe to say I am more than a little tired and emotional as we get closer to due date!
The physical pressures of pregnancy are well-documented; big bump, restless nights and the need to visit the loo approximately 127 times a day (at least).
But pregnancy can also have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing, too. According to research by Tommy’s;
‘Women are more likely to be affected by mental illness during pregnancy and the postnatal period than at any other time of their lives’.
There are so many changes we don’t see, so many emotions to process and new challenges to face. It’s a time where looking after ourselves becomes even more critical.
Here are some practical ways we can practice self-care during pregnancy.
Support can come in lots of forms - not just from friends and family but professional help, online communities and other new parents can be excellent lifelines pre and post-birth.
It is available to all mums and focuses on mental health, self-care and identifying sources of support. A really great resource to add to your mental-wellbeing toolkit!
Everyone needs a bit of support and encouragement sometimes.
Pregnancy comes with lots of unwarranted advice and overstepping of boundaries.
Remember, it’s still your body.
This is your baby.
You don’t become public property when you conceive (even though some days it feels as though that is the case).
You get to make the rules and decide what’s best for you and your child.
Easier said than done, but allow yourself time to rest. You don’t have to do it all.
Even on the days you don’t feel like you’re doing much of anything, you’re growing a whole human!
Time to nap, to do nothing, or binge-watch your favourite TV show is actually all time to give yourself a break and allow yourself the opportunity to recuperate and recharge.
It’s okay not to know, and it’s okay to need to know more!
This is my third pregnancy, and I’m still asking lots of questions despite having done this twice before.
Seek help when you need it, seek reassurance.
Challenge the things that don’t feel right to you; your peace of mind is important.
Don’t Compare Yourself.
Every pregnancy and baby is unique. The ups and downs are different for every mum and different for every baby. Your experience is entirely individual - every thought, feeling and reaction is valid.
Believe in yourself.
From the very first stages of parenting, we doubt ourselves, our abilities, our instincts. There are so many conflicting articles and opinions. So many things to remember. So much pressure on our bodies and minds to grow, nurture and birth something so special.
It might not always feel this way, but you are wildly capable. Even on the days you doubt yourself, you’ve got this.
You’re doing a great job, Mama.
Illustration and blog post written in support of Tommy’s new digital wellbeing tool encouraging positive mental wellbeing for mums, not a paid partnership or ad.