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Pregnancy: How to stay emotionally well

Your mental health is as important as your physical health during your pregnancy

Mental wellbeing is important to every individual’s day-to-day functioning. When a woman is pregnant, she carries another human being within her; this makes her mental wellbeing all the more important. Many of us imagine pregnancy to be a happy, enjoyable experience. Sometimes, we don’t acknowledge that pregnancy comes with several hormonal changes, and that there are bound to be ups and downs. To add to this, a pregnant woman has to cope with physical and psychological changes as well.

A woman who is having her first child may find pregnancy to be stressful in some ways. For women above a certain age, there may be anxieties and concerns about the health of the child. This may give rise to several fears.

Before pregnancy

Visit your doctor or gynecologist to get information about your health. Address any concerns and get all your questions answered. Being informed will help you stay well during pregnancy.

During pregnancy:

How can I cope with the changes in my body?

Pregnancy is a time when your life is changing, your body and health pose several challenges or changes that you need to adapt to. During pregnancy, it is important for you to take care of your health – physically as well as mentally. Some things you can do to cope with these changes in a healthy manner are:

  • Speak to your mother, sister or friends who have been through the process, or read books to better understand what you can expect

  • Have a friend, family member or a counselor you can speak to when you find it hard to cope with the changes

  • Anxieties and fluctuating moods are likely to occur due to the hormonal changes. Speak to your gynecologist to understand what is normal, and when you may need to seek help.

How can I enhance my mental wellbeing?

  • Continue your daily routine unless the doctor recommends changes. Household chores are perfectly okay!

  • Listen to your body. Get adequate rest.

  • Get regular exercise – yoga or walking are light exercises that can help you stay physically fit

  • Share your emotions and concerns with family and friends

  • Indulge yourself: read a book, listen to music or watch a movie

  • Eat nutritious food: colorful food can increase your appetite. Make sure you have a balanced diet. Indulge your food cravings too.

  • Wear pleasant-colored, well-fitting clothes that you feel comfortable in; this will give you confidence about your body

  • Involve your partner in planning for the baby; take him with you for your antenatal check-ups

  • Make your needs important. Treat yourself with care and communicate clearly your needs to the people around you.

  • Avoid reading too much about pregnancy if it causes you anxiety. There are some websites that help you track the changes that are happening, and give you guidance. Focus on these.

  • Don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns