The process of motherhood and its becoming has always been a tricky one. Perhaps tricky isn’t the right word and perhaps, there is no right word for it. The navigation through motherhood is unique in itself but what can be consensually agreed is that the start of it all is hard - pregnancy. According to the National Health Society, experiencing highs and lows during pregnancy is quite normal To ricochet from exhilarating emotions to a ball of despair is a part of the process considering how your body goes through a massive, if not life-altering, change. It's a change that happens in your body but it's also one that forces us to make a change in our environment. Our lifestyles, our coping mechanisms - even the very arrangement of our room!
Every woman’s emotional well-being during pregnancy has always been a highly discussed topic and yet, not discussed enough. How can one begin to map a solution for a wide range of feelings and behaviours that happen during this period? However, what has been figured out is that as strange and uncertain these feelings may appear to you, they are felt throughout the world by expecting mothers and so here, we have developed a list of methods you can choose to cope during this particularly trying phase of your life.
1. Talk to out:
Perhaps the most important tip irrespective of your pregnancy is this. Always be open to asking for help in moments where you especially need it. Women find that phases of loneliness creep upon them with no stimulus or triggers and at times like that, it is always best to surround yourself with people who care for you to reassure you of your worries.
2. In moments of doubt, move it about!:
Excuse the aforementioned optimistic statement despite how much work it requires. Working out when a big change is happening in your body might sound like … not sound advice. However, ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) stresses the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Exercising can help reduce back pain, and constipation and it also helps promote a healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. In general, fitness also helps boost your serotonin levels. Including exercises that you think are appropriate for your body is great to get a semblance of a routine back into your life.
3. Wind down:
Sometimes, when you’ve done it all, you might continue to find yourself stressed out and worried. In times like this, it’s important to sit with your emotions and find stillness in the silence. Meditation ad various breathing techniques are key in bringing yourself back to the ground. Hypnobirthing (which is explored in great detail by Marie F. Mongan in her book ‘Hypnobirthing) is a practice that at its core helps a woman deal with any fear, anxiety or stress he may have or experience around birth. It includes a wide variety of meditative practices and self-hypnosis techniques. According to Healthline, the core idea is that when the body and mind are in a completely relaxed state, birth can happen more quickly and painlessly because the body doesn’t fight the natural process. Hypnobirthing focuses on a twist in words to encourage positive and guided visualisation which helps you relax and not put yourself in mental situations where you’re always on a fight or flight response.
4. Be realistic:
The shift to life as a pregnant woman means cutting down and also adding many practices to your daly life. Be realistic about what your body can handle to avoid feeling at a loss when you find yourself unable to do things you used to be able to do. Always remember that there are people around you to help you.
During periods of stress and anxiety, a general feeling of alienation that tends to creep up on you is quite common. During those periods, it is important to surround yourself with women who are going through the same trials. Joining a pregnancy support group or a group of expecting mothers would help in instilling a sense of togetherness. It would also help in knowing that the massive shift in your emotions echoes through different women. Being in such a community would give you newer and better ideas on how to protect your emotional well-being.
In conclusion, there are many essential matters that can be taken into account to ensure your optimised state - matters as basic as getting 8 hours sleep to eating healthy. Sometimes, it's the most basic means that help us get back on our feet and often, it is the people around us who help us get there. Here’s to wishing you a smooth and joyous 9 months and for the joy that’s waiting around the corner!