How to Support Your Mental Health During Pregnancy

How to Support Your Mental Health During Pregnancy

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now begins the journey of preparing for parenthood (or preparing to welcome more children into your family), which for many people comes with a lot of questions, decisions to make, and plans to put in place. Oftentimes, the first questions in pregnancy are around what to do to make sure you are setting your baby up as best as possible for a healthy future.


Many parents-to-be start building the foundations for a healthy pregnancy as soon as they find out they are pregnant, if not before. This commonly looks like taking a prenatal vitamin, eliminating certain foods and alcohol, and making other lifestyle changes to support your body in growing a healthy baby. If you are pregnant and have made some or all of these changes, you are doing wonderful things for yourself and your child!


It’s less common that we talk about ways to support mental health during pregnancy, even though around 10% of women experience depression during their pregnancy. An even greater number of women don’t experience clinical depression, but do have feelings of sadness, overwhelm, fear, and isolation throughout pregnancy. 


Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’ve been through it before, it’s important to include your mental health in the conversation of what to focus on during pregnancy. Here are some ways to make sure your mental health is supported during this important time:


Focus on taking care of yourself

There are many reasons self-care during pregnancy can become more challenging, and many reasons why it’s more important than ever! Self-care in pregnancy may look a bit different than self-care in other times of your life. Your go-to workout or a long hot bath at the end of the night may no longer be in the cards for you. However, there are tons of options for self-care that are safe and encouraged throughout pregnancy. Focus on what feels best for you and that you find the most benefit from. This could look like going for walks, cooking a yummy meal with friends, spending time in nature, journaling or meditating, doing a creative activity, reading a book, and taking time for rest.


There is no right or wrong way to do self-care, and it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment if you are already feeling overwhelmed with the “to-dos” of pregnancy. The foundation of your mental and physical health is made up of small practices you commit to each day - things like drinking water, eating nutritious meals, focusing on quality sleep, engaging with people around you, and moving your body. So if nothing else, focus on the small things throughout your day that help you feel your best and build a healthy base for your pregnancy.


Acknowledge the Changes

Pregnancy is a time of profound change for your body, mind, emotions, hormones, relationships, and more. While these changes can be exciting, it’s normal to also struggle with the transition. For many mamas-to-be, it’s hard to talk about the myriad of emotions they experience throughout pregnancy. There can often be pressure (both internal and external) to focus on the positive. And while that can be helpful, it’s also important to acknowledge the entirety of experience, especially if you are struggling with all of the changes you are facing. 


It’s ok, and completely normal, to feel some loss for your freedom before pregnancy, the things you miss doing that you can’t do anymore, or the way you are used to your body feeling. It’s also natural to be fearful of the new life coming your way and the uncertainty that comes with it. 

Usually, acknowledging these feelings and sharing them with someone else can help them to feel more manageable. Sadness and isolation often come from feeling that the experience we are having is different than we expected, or that we are the only ones feeling this way. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing these harder parts of your experience with a partner or family member, consider a pregnancy support group or speaking with a mental health professional.


If you find yourself feeling depressed, struggling to find the motivation to take care of yourself, or feeling overwhelmed with the anxiety that pregnancy can bring, it’s definitely time to reach out for help. If you don’t know where to start, your OBGYN office should be able to connect you to a therapist, or you can check out the resources available through Postpartum Support International (www.postpartum.net). 


Build Community

There are few times in life when community is more important than in pregnancy and postpartum. Having support in the transition into parenthood can be a big factor in whether new parents will experience postpartum depression and anxiety. In many cultures around the world, parents-to-be and new parents are dutifully supported by their families and communities. Here in the US, it’s not as common to have community support built in, so it’s important to think about ways to intentionally build a solid support system.


If you don’t live nearby or don’t have great relationships with family and friends, other ways to build community could be to join a pregnancy group, a prenatal yoga class or walking group, or attend an online event. If you are part of a religious community you could ask someone in the congregation to help set up a meal train for when baby arrives. You can also get creative and find a local meetup or class for other hobbies or interests that you have that are unrelated to pregnancy.


It can be helpful to share how you’re feeling (the good and the bad) with the people in your immediate circle. Even those closest to us don’t always know how we’re feeling, and sometimes we have to make things explicit. If you are hoping for friends, family members, or your partner to check in on you more often, you may need to let them know that would be helpful to you. This also goes for asking for help and for making a plan with the people around you for how you would like to be supported in postpartum. Any support you can receive from others is helpful, so be sure to include building community in your mental health plan during pregnancy.


Manage Stress

We know that stress can take a negative toll on our physical and mental health, but did you know that even in utero, babies can be impacted by their Mother’s stress? This is why managing your stress levels is not only good for you, but is good for your baby as well. As we’ve covered above, pregnancy can be a very stressful time with a lot of change taking place. 


It seems simple, but one of the most important steps in managing stress is to recognize where your stress levels currently lie, and what your main stressors are. Common areas of stress include work, parenting (if you have other kids), relationships, financial struggles, and taking care of other family members. Pregnancy related stress can also increase if you struggled to get pregnant, have a history of pregnancy loss, or have other health conditions that are impacting your pregnancy. It’s a good idea to take an inventory of the areas in your life that may cause you stress, and to check in with how you’re feeling in your day-to-day. Once you take stock of how you’re feeling, you can decide if any changes need to be made to decrease your stress levels and support a healthy pregnancy.


Managing stress is another great place to enlist the support of a mental health professional, especially if your stress is spilling over into feeling overly anxious, struggling to sleep, or having panic attacks. 


If there’s one thing to take away, it’s that thinking about your mental health during pregnancy is so important for yourself and your baby! Tuning into how you’re feeling, leaning on your support system, and having some tools to manage stress can make a huge difference in your experience throughout pregnancy. Remember, no matter what kind of experience you are having in your pregnancy you are not alone, and there are always resources available to help you feel your best. 

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    My name is Choung, and I’m Vietnamese. On this day, May 23, 2024, I am writing to share my testimony as a sign of appreciation for what Dr. Murugu did for me.

    It all started on November 15 last year, when I caught my ex-wife with another man in our home. I sent her out of the house and filed for divorce. A few months later, on January 11, 2024, I woke up paralyzed, unable to move the left side of my body. I quickly called my family, and they took me to the hospital where I stayed for a month and a half. Every test and scan came back clean; the doctors couldn’t determine the cause of my illness.

    Friends advised me to seek help outside of medical medicine. We visited various spiritualists across Vietnam, but nothing worked.
    Then, we came across Dr. Murugu’s page on Facebook (Revenge Death Spells, Voodoo Love Spells) and decided to give him a try. I explained my problem to him, and he told me that someone dear to me was responsible for my predicament. He promised to reverse it within seven days, and he did. The illness was sent back to the sender, who turned out to be my ex-wife’s mother, and she confessed and she said she was angry that I left her daughter and decided to cast a black magic spell on me to paralyze me.

    Once again, thank you, Dr. Murugu, for what you have done for me. I am now well and sound again. You can contact him via WhatsApp or email.

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  • Overcoming Paralysis: How Dr. Murugu Helped Me Recover

    My name is Choung, and I’m Vietnamese. On this day, May 23, 2024, I am writing to share my testimony as a sign of appreciation for what Dr. Murugu did for me.

    It all started on November 15 last year, when I caught my ex-wife with another man in our home. I sent her out of the house and filed for divorce. A few months later, on January 11, 2024, I woke up paralyzed, unable to move the left side of my body. I quickly called my family, and they took me to the hospital where I stayed for a month and a half. Every test and scan came back clean; the doctors couldn’t determine the cause of my illness.

    Friends advised me to seek help outside of medical medicine. We visited various spiritualists across Vietnam, but nothing worked.
    Then, we came across Dr. Murugu’s page on Facebook (Revenge Death Spells, Voodoo Love Spells) and decided to give him a try. I explained my problem to him, and he told me that someone dear to me was responsible for my predicament. He promised to reverse it within seven days, and he did. The illness was sent back to the sender, who turned out to be my ex-wife’s mother, and she confessed and she said she was angry that I left her daughter and decided to cast a black magic spell on me to paralyze me.

    Once again, thank you, Dr. Murugu, for what you have done for me. I am now well and sound again. You can contact him via WhatsApp or email.

    Email: dr.makinidrmurugu@gmail.com
    WhatsApp/Call: +90 534 069 3791
    https://drmakinidrmurugu.blogspot.com
    Website: https://www.drmuruguspellhome.com

    Choung
  • Overcoming Paralysis: How Dr. Murugu Helped Me Recover

    My name is Choung, and I’m Vietnamese. On this day, May 23, 2024, I am writing to share my testimony as a sign of appreciation for what Dr. Murugu did for me.

    It all started on November 15 last year, when I caught my ex-wife with another man in our home. I sent her out of the house and filed for divorce. A few months later, on January 11, 2024, I woke up paralyzed, unable to move the left side of my body. I quickly called my family, and they took me to the hospital where I stayed for a month and a half. Every test and scan came back clean; the doctors couldn’t determine the cause of my illness.

    Friends advised me to seek help outside of medical medicine. We visited various spiritualists across Vietnam, but nothing worked.
    Then, we came across Dr. Murugu’s page on Facebook (Revenge Death Spells, Voodoo Love Spells) and decided to give him a try. I explained my problem to him, and he told me that someone dear to me was responsible for my predicament. He promised to reverse it within seven days, and he did. The illness was sent back to the sender, who turned out to be my ex-wife’s mother, and she confessed and she said she was angry that I left her daughter and decided to cast a black magic spell on me to paralyze me.

    Once again, thank you, Dr. Murugu, for what you have done for me. I am now well and sound again. You can contact him via WhatsApp or email.

    Email: dr.makinidrmurugu@gmail.com
    WhatsApp/Call: +90 534 069 3791
    https://drmakinidrmurugu.blogspot.com
    Website: https://www.drmuruguspellhome.com

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