When having a baby, there are a million and one things to consider, which is why mental preparation often gets put on the back burner. So, what can you do to mentally prepare for your pregnancy? While there’s no one-size-fits-all, read on for some tips and ideas to try. You may find it incredibly beneficial.
Strong support systems
It may sound simple, but having a strong support circle around you while pregnant can make a world of difference, whether that’s in the form of your partner, friends, or family. Having people around you who can help to minimize stress can have a positive impact on the mother’s postpartum health.
In addition to this, strong support can reduce anxiety, which can lower the risk of preterm birth.
To ensure you do have the emotional support you need, there are a few things you can do.
If you plan to raise your baby with a partner, speak to them as much as possible. Share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with them.
Join expecting parent groups. It can help massively to meet people who are in the same situation as you. So look out for groups in your area where you can share your experiences as well as gain valuable insight and support.
Ask for help
Asking for help is not always easy, though it’s likely your family and friends would love a way to support you. Even asking for small favours like bringing around groceries or doing a quick clean-up around the house will help you feel supported and give them a way to help out!
Expect the unexpected
Or rather, mentally prepare for the expected and the unexpected. It’s great to read up and create pregnancy plans; however, often those plans get left to the wayside when life happens, so it’s advantageous to have some understanding of common symptoms as well as the less common ones. You may also want to have a dating scan ultrasound. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy, they can be used to work out your due date, as well as how many fetuses are present. Having all the information available to you can help you know what to expect and when.
Look out for number one
Often physical health concerns take the limelight during pregnancy, so it’s beneficial for you to prioritize your own mental health as much as you can. This is especially important if you have a history of anxiety or depression. Read on for some actions you can take to improve your mental well-being during pregnancy.
Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. No matter how small, they’re likely to have heard it all before and will be able to put your mind at ease, whether it’s regarding your mental health or your pregnancy.
Take time for yourself
Of course, there is so much to do and prepare but aim to take some time every day, whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours, to do something for yourself. Watch an episode of your favourite show, or try a short meditation. You may not have as much time to do this once your baby comes, so enjoy it while you can.
Action these tips to help ensure your pregnancy is as smooth and happy as possible. Do remember, everyone is different. If any of these tips don’t align with you, that’s fine. Take what serves you and leave what doesn’t.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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