You’ll probably have a lot on your mind during pregnancy. Coping with your symptoms and changing lifestyle, as well as everyday life, can sometimes be overwhelming.
Your mental wellbeing in pregnancy is just as important as your physical health, so try to take care of your mind as well as your body. Here are ten tips to help you relax in pregnancy:
1. Take time out for yourself every day
Do something you enjoy that’s just for you. Take a warm bath, chill out to some music, close your eyes, gently massage your bump – whatever makes you feel peaceful.
2. Talk to someone you trust
Getting things off your chest and talking your worries through with an understanding and trustworthy friend, family member or work colleague can make all the difference. Talk about how you’re feeling.
3. Stay active every day
Exercise releases endorphins that will lift your mood. You don’t have to do aerobics classes or hit the gym. Just try to make staying active part of your everyday life. For example, you could go for a walk or do some office exercises. This can reduce stress and it’s good for your unborn baby, too. Find out more about exercises you can do when you’re pregnant.
4. Rest when you need to
It’s hard to feel cheerful if you’re exhausted and uncomfortable, so make sure you take time to rest when you can.
5. Ask for practical help from family or friends
Can they cook you a meal, help with the shopping, or look after your children? Family and friends are there to support you, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
6. Be realistic about how much you can do (whether at work, at home, or in your social life)
We are all be guilty of taking too much on for fear of letting someone down. Saying no can be tricky, but now you need to take care of yourself. The people around you will understand if you need to say no.
9. Meet other pregnant women or new parents at local groups or on online forums
Ask your midwife or children’s centre what’s available locally. Sharing your feelings with other people having similar experiences can help you feel less isolated.
10. Don’t believe the hype
It may seem like everyone else is happy and coping all the time, but everyone will be facing their own challenges. Lots of women feel low in pregnancy or after the birth, but a lot of people hide their real feelings, especially in public. Find out more about mental wellbeing in pregnancy.
When to get help
Feeling emotional during pregnancy is common because of hormone changes. But it’s important to ask for help if you are feeling sad more than you are feeling happy.
Talk to your midwife or GP about how you feel if you’re feeling low for more than a couple of weeks. They can help you find ways to look after your emotional health, including getting extra help and treatment if needed.