So you’re pregnant and so are YOU. What does that mean? Okay, well that’s your physical condition. But, we all know that the changes in pregnancy aren’t just physical. The whole you is changing – not just your body but your mind, spirit and relationships, too.
You may already know this, but since changes in how you are feeling are not as apparent as your unmistakable baby bump, they can be harder to address. So, what is your mind like on pregnancy? Crying over commercials? Stressed out over decorating the perfect nursery? Worried about your mother-in-law visiting after the baby is born? Or, feeling just ?ne?
Regardless of your answers, before the baby arrives is a good time to take stock of your mood in general, your thoughts, fears, and expectations for the near future. Getting yourself together before your baby is born is as important as having enough burp rags and teeny tiny diapers. Here are a few areas to assess:
How are you and your partner connecting lately?
These are the last few weeks alone you have to be alone together for a minimum of eighteen years (if this is your ?rst child). Are you planning the trendy Babymoon or just some vital quiet time with each other? Making your relationship a priority post baby and continuing to have fun together is an essential ingredient to postpartum adjustment and a happy family life long-term.
How is your general sense of well-being?
Feeling good about ourselves protects our mental health and improves resiliency during stressful times in our lives. So, keep eating well and getting the rest you need because nurturing your physical health helps to bolster your emotional well-being.
Here are a few other things you can do:
1. Stay connected with friends and family. Engaging in pleasurable social interaction each day is a powerful mood booster. These same people will also be important to you after your baby is born. So, make sure to get them lined up to help and support you post-delivery.
2. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Setting aside time each day to feel and review your feelings can be helpful. Express both your negative and positive emotions to people whom you trust and who support you such as your partner or a close friend. For emotions you might not feel comfortable sharing, try writing about them in a journal.
3. Nurture your sense of humor. The ability to step back and see the humor in a situation is an asset. So, look for levity in your daily life. Practice this skill now. It will serve you well when you are performing the most challenging job you’ve ever had without any training and on very little sleep and expecting yourself to do it perfectly.
How is your inner superego doing?
Does it criticize you often with feelings of doubt? Are you wondering how you can “do it all”? Well, you can’t do it all and have it all, it’s a misconception and a devious trick of marketing that makes women feel inadequate and insecure. Now is the time to kick Martha Stewart out of your head and come back to civilization.
Give yourself a well deserved break, embrace your instincts and your unique point of view to motherhood. Here are two things you can do to help keep your expectations in line with reality and begin to adjust to the pace of taking care of a baby. Keep a list for a day or two of every task you complete (this includes resting, eating well, exercising and quiet time connecting with the baby inside you). At the end of a couple days, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished. And, hopefully feel a better sense of control over your wellbeing.
Pregnancy is demanding on us physically, emotionally, spiritually and interpersonally. If we hold realistic expectations on becoming a mother, we ensure a better transition to becoming who we want to be once the baby arrives.