Your Mental Health and Pregnancy

It has been well documented how important it is to care for your mental health as a matter of daily routine, and even more so when you are pregnant (with all the hormonal changes happening). 

As many of you know, I am almost at the exciting end of my miracle pregnancy and thought it might be helpful to share my experience and some insights I've learnt along the way. Full disclosure, for the most part, I had enjoyed a relatively easy pregnancy. Some nausea during late first into early second trimester, fatigue but that was about it. Yes some pelvic and hip discomfort now (35 weeks along) but wow compared to many stories I have witnessed or heard, I have been blessed. 

The hormonal, physical, and emotional changes that come with each trimester are noticeably quite different and can take you by surprise at times. Understand nothing is wrong with you, it's an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level (how loving is that!). I can honestly say I have gotten to know my body so intimately during my pregnancy than in any other period of my life :-). 

Trimester 1

I found to be on quite a high most of the time, mainly due to being pregnant with my miracle baby combined with the knowledge my hormone levels were quite high. This was really important to me as previous cycles saw me have low hcg, oestrogen and progesterone levels which resulted in miscarriage and chemical pregnancies. I noticed how apprehensive I was at times before reaching the 12 week milestone, while at the same time savouring this beautiful being who was growing inside of me. Isn't it funny (interesting) the milestones we set for ourselves based on previous experience and loss. What means the most to us to reach and feel more confident the pregnancy will reach full term with a healthy baby. 

The stress and fear can be quite overwhelming at times, and I found myself having to catch those thoughts and consciously decide to sit in a place of gratitude and blessing so they didn't take over. 

I maintained contact with a few close friends especially during the early days, discussing everything from symptoms, cravings, mood and body changes. This was so invaluable to have my tribe around me, whom I felt deeply connected to and trusted to be not only my cheer squad and also my sounding board when I felt my mental health being challenged. 

Talking, journalling, limiting my online research on parenting, and exposure to social media was a process of trial and error initially, and soon became an absolute godsend for my headspace.

Comparing yourself to others does more harm than good, particularly when your hormones are all over the shop. Instead, please take this time to focus inwards and to what your body needs from you.

Prioritise self care (whatever that means & looks like to you) and challenge those negative thoughts that might creep in at times. Good mental health means little stress for you, and in your body -  even better for bubs! 


Focusing on yourself, especially in the early days is not selfish, it's selfless

* Limiting social media helps to minimise unhealthy comparisons to other including celebrities, which often is real world anyway

* Self care means many things to many people, do whatever feels right for you (no matter what anyone else thinks)

* Checking in with your tribe is a must!  

Trimester 2 

The nausea and fatigue hit me pretty hard and I quickly noticed how much that played around with my headspace. Thoughts arising of "this is all just too hard", "is there something wrong with me?" and "I am just exhausted all the time".

Now the last one in particular is a normal thought to have, although for me the use of negative language greatly impacted my mental health. It took me down a path of sadness, lack of joy and motivation each day, and feeling helpless. Knowing myself, I knew if I didn't shift my thinking, not only would this be a very long pregnancy, and more importantly I would be resurrecting my anxiety/ overwhelm and not-enoughness which would not be good for me or bubs.

There were times I thought the nausea and fatigue would never end, but it did, albeit in the interim with the help of gluten free party pies & sausage rolls (I swear this was the only food that would calm my nausea) - PS Lady also knew the packet I ate so many of them lol

What did I do? I made a decision everyday to slow myself down (rather than rushing around trying to do a gazillion things at once). Changing the negative habits/ thoughts that were creeping back in one tiny step at a time. I started by looking at the language I used to describe how I was feeling, soon realising how negative it was and how it created a heavy energy in my body. So I flipped the self-talk to be more compassionate, loving and kind.

More like how we speak to others, when in reality it's how we should be speaking to ourselves in the same way too. 

" I am exhausted" became "I am learning to rest

" Everything is just so hard" became " I am finding my way and what suits me best

"There is something wrong with me" became "I just keep thinking something is wrong with me".   

It did take a little practice I must admit, and soon paid off. I noticed how changing my self- talk elevated my mood and energy levels, and in turn my food choices went back to being more nutritious and I felt lighter within myself. 


* seeking help (from friends, family or a professional) is not sign of weakness, but is one of strength and love

* positive self talk is key in lifting your mood and energy levels (practice each day with slight tweaks to what you say to yourself)

*  hormone changes are perfectly normal and do have an affect on your physical/ emotional and mental health. Learning about yourself is key to managing these confidently and through the lens of love

*ginger nuts and a banana first thing in the morning did wonders for me for easing nausea upon waking 

Trimester 3 

Now I don't want to give any false hopes here, when I hit 27 weeks my energy levels were back to normal, I was sleeping really well and my nausea pain points had disappeared. I found myself eating my usual foods (pre pregnancy without any triggers)- YIPPEE! 

I kept thinking to myself, this is great being pregnant and it was. My entire pregnancy to date has been pretty darn good, considering the risks (age, IVF conception etc). Full disclosure here I am a terrible patient and am a total wuss when it comes to nausea. I also know how much of an impact not getting a good sleep has on my mental health. 

And then the nausea came back full force and my usual go to foods to help ease it no longer did the trick (cue the tears). I did find this trimester a little easier on my headspace because of the tips I have mentioned above.

What I have found challenging and wasn't expecting was my frustration at others for not being able to read my mind (I know totally irrational right); a sense of worry would I be a good mum; and slight overwhelm on how much I wanted to get ready before baby girl arrives in early August this year.  

By now I was in fortnightly sessions with my spiritual/ energy healer who was helping me drop back into my body rather than live in my head as well as discuss personal challenges I felt silly saying out loud.

Deep breathing and making time for reflection has been the key to me maintaining a positive and intentional headspace, irrespective of the body and hormonal changes.  


* tune into what your body is telling you she needs 

* release the need to control, instead move into a state of flow. It will certainly be less stressful for you, and as I have found much more enjoyable day to day

* everyone experiences pregnancy differently and your experience is neither right or wrong for others, it only matters what is right for you 

* allowing yourself to feel whatever you feel is healthy, then acknowledge it and decide what you want to do with that thought/ feeling - Does it serve you? or Does it weigh you down instead?  

* everything will be as it is meant to be, releasing the stress and want to control is incredibly freeing (lifting a heavy weight from your body). 

I am writing to you at 36 weeks pregnant now (just on 2 weeks to go till I hold my baby girl in my arms). My pregnancy journey so far has taught me so much about myself, others, and the world around me. All of which I was not expecting.

My scope for compassion and care has grown exponentially particularly for myself. Slowing down to savour every moment, kick and flutter before the big day arrives, knowing my limits and adjusting my calendar to ensure this is a priority, and stepping through the fear or guilt to ask for what I need.

I hope wherever you are in the journey of life, you too consider how best to take care of your mental health and in doing so live the life of your dreams!  


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