Pregnancy can be beautiful and exciting, but also scary and overwhelming at the same time. Your life is about to drastically change and not knowing what to expect can be really daunting!
I remember stressing about so many things when we were expecting our first child. Have we bought everything we need for our baby? What if birth doesn’t go as planned? Will I be a good mom?
A spiral of thoughts that was hard to stop.
So I have put together here some of the best tips on how to handle all the pregnancy emotions, stay positive, and have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Try to relax and slow down (your mind in particular!) as much as you can while pregnant. I know your mind sometimes feels like a ticking bomb with all those checklists of things to do. But calming your mind should be your number one priority if you want to reduce your stress levels and achieve a happy pregnancy.
Take rests throughout the day and make sure not to burn yourself out. if you are at work, force yourself to have some breaks: go for a walk or just sit at the park if you can. Or join your work mates for an extra coffee (you can have a decaffeinated tea instead!).
Yoga or meditation are also excellent choices to help you relax. I would particularly recommend giving yoga a go if you have a very active mind: it involves a lot more movement, while still incorporating breathing exercises.
2. Stay Positive
A positive mindset is the key to a positive and happy pregnancy, and the best thing I have found to help with this is reading positive birth stories.
It’s very common to feel a lot of stress, fear and anxiety about the upcoming birth. Reading all the dramatic stories online or watching labor scenes in movies definitely doesn’t help!
The reality is that birth doesn’t necessarily have to be so painful or complicated. And the more positive and confident you are about the labor and delivery, the less likely you are to encounter any complications.
3. Have fun
Also, don’t forget to have fun! You are pregnant: that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things that make you happy and make you laugh.
Okay, you might not be able to go out and party until 4 in the morning, but you can still have some good times and create some good memories, whether on your own, with family or friends.
4. Take Antenatal Classes
Knowledge is power and knowing what to expect during labor or postpartum can really ease your mind about what’s too come.
Plus, you might end up making friends with other couples expecting a baby around the same time, which is always a bonus. We made friends with some other couples when expecting our first child and it was so nice, both during pregnancy and postpartum, to be able to share with other moms what we were going through and exchange advice.
Exercise increases the amount of endorphins produced by the body, which can only make you feel happier. Remember not to overdo it, but also don’t put yourself at bed rest (unless you have to) just because you are pregnant.
There are plenty of exercises that are safe to do during pregnancy, such as walking, swimming or yoga.
I know sleeping during pregnancy doesn’t come easy, particularly during the last trimester, but try and sleep as much or as often as you can. A good sleep can make everyone feel a little less grumpy during the day.
A mattress topper and a pregnancy pillow really helped me with the body pain when trying to sleep. And sleeping slightly upright during the last few weeks really helped with the heartburn.
Do what you need to do to get comfortable!
7. Plan in Advance
9 months seem like a long time but go so fast! You’ll be in the last trimester before you know it. And if you go into labor before 40 weeks, you might not even have that much time.
So, plan in advance. Don’t rush going through all the things to do last minute. Get the nursery ready, think about what you need for labor and postpartum and pack your hospital bag. Having everything ready will give you such a peace of mind.
8. Ask for Help
If all else fails and stress and anxiety become too much to handle, don’t forget to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong in what you are feeling and in reaching out.
Whether it’s to family members, friends or a medical professional, they’ll all be happy to be involved and give you the support you need.