Pregnancy Emotions and how to deal with them.
Pregnancy emotions are a whirlwind mix of hormones, growing tummies and irrational crying, I’ve found.
During my first pregnancy, I battled my emotions hard.
From crying over Masterchef Junior and random clips on Youtube, to a hate for anyone that dares cut the cheese on an angle. I usually let my emotions run out of my mouth before I thought of the negative impact they would ultimately have on my own mindset and the impact on those around me.
It made the first and the last trimester of that pregnancy an intense experience, though mostly wonderful. While my baby grew, it seemed my emotions grew just like the little bundle in my stomach and I would find myself often out of my own control.
Recently, I found out we’re pregnant again – but this time I want to think about things a little differently.
Lesson 1: Patience
I would react too easily. One thing I needed to learn was patience.
Try to often practise having patience and love for yourself and everything around me.
There are still days where it’s too hard to explain everything about my feelings to my support system, and that’s okay too.
Take time for yourself. Have patience with yourself. These feelings do pass after a short time.
Trust me, the more you try, the easier it becomes.
And the more you can step back from a situation, the more everyone including yourself will have a peaceful time. Don’t let your emotions run you into the ground during this time.
You’re growing a baby, and the easier ride you can give yourself, the better.
Lesson 2: Self-care
By self care, I mean the very basic things. Fatigue can often make it too hard though, right?
Your emotions and fatigue levels are all a part of the glorious journey of pregnancy.
And the best way to approach a physical problem that affects your mental state? Treat the issues with your body before you lose your mind.
The best way to ‘treat’ pregnancy, is to eat, drink plenty of water, and take your multivitamins.
Take care of yourself properly. Usually when my emotions are harder to get a hold of, it’s because I’m lacking in something that my body needs. There is a big problem that might affect your emotions.
It may be vitamins and minerals, but at that time, it’s probably chocolate (or cheese and crackers).
You are meant to gain weight and feel irrationally hungry when you’re pregnant. You’re growing a human in there, mama! Just balance that chocolate with lots of nutrient rich meals as well as your cravings!
Water is essential for keeping your body running well, and if you dehydrate yourself you will end up feeling very weak and possibly even faint.
I buy a pack of the cheap 24x600ml water bottles (please don’t come after me about my plastic bottle use, I’m trying to switch out) and put them in the fridge.
I find that I tend to drink more water when it’s cold and on hand. Just by leaving one in the toilet, one next to my bed, one on the coffee table and one on the deck where I drink tea, I manage to sip all day.
This way, I constantly take in as much water as my body needs and wants.
Another basic thing you can do for yourself is to just keep taking pride in your hygiene. Nothing is worse than when your bladder starts getting the pressure of a growing baby on it and you lose the ability to cough without peeing a little bit.
If this is a problem for your, I highly highly suggest grabbing a cheap pack of homebrand panty liners. Not quite as intrusive or bulky as a pad, these skinny legends will help protect your clothes from being wrecked 2+ times a day.
Practice pelvic floor exercise by bicycling the air with your legs in bed, and doing hip thrusts (slowly). The tighter you can keep those muscles now, the more active help they could be during labour.
Go to your appointments and talk with your doctor if you’re feeling overly fatigued even though you feel that you’re eating and drinking well. You may be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals such as iron, which is something they can advise you on how to treat.
If mentally you aren’t coping with the hormones and fatigue well enough, talk to your doctor. Pregnancy is a wonderful glorious thing, but sometimes even though we take care of ourselves physically, it may not help enough mentally. If this is you, please use your support system.
Lesson 3: Know your support system
Another thing I do, is lean on my support system (probably too much sometimes).
I (try to) explain my emotions to my partner and why I’m going through that particular episode, and that helps him better understand why I’m so hard to deal with sometimes. He constantly supports me and our baby daughter, doing everything for us. I am truly blessed.
If you have a partner, try to remember that they can’t feel exactly what you’re feeling right now. Be understanding, and try to be collected enough to talk openly about your emotions rather than take them out on the person you love.
They want to be there to love and support you and the big changes that you’re going through, otherwise they wouldn’t be with you! It can be that simple to understand.
In terms of other family, I am also so blessed to have lots of people I can turn to and be open about my emotions with. And they ARE there. You just have to be willing to use yours.
I can laugh and chat about anything with my mum in law. She’s great when I just need someone positive there, to absorb some of that positive mood into my tired bones.
My own mother is a nurse and eases any anxieties I may get. She supports me in anything and I think your own mother will always be your number one cheerleader.
My dad is such a balance of laughter and experience. I draw on his strength a lot. Every girl should have a daddy figure to look to for that strength and luckily, mine is my rock.
And I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better daughter while I’m pregnant again, she’s been so perfect at teaching me how to be a good mum and just generally been the absolute light of every day.
One of the most important things is having that great, healthy, supportive group of people around you, whether they be relative or not.
Lastly I need to talk about your doctors and midwives. They are a key part of your support system, and should be approached with any questions or worries you have. That’s what they’re educated on, and that’s what they are there for.
You are pregnant, and these emotions are going to hit you and be hard to cope with sometimes.
But this is part of your journey, your families journey, and your baby’s journey.
This is part of growing a few cells into a healthy newborn baby.
Your body is reminding you everyday of what a brilliant, strong machine it is. Don’t let pregnancy emotions beat you down to a point where you can’t be amazed by that.