Being pregnant it can be a very exciting time but, likewise, it is a period of your life full of fluctuation.

Being pregnant often comes with constant congratulations from friends and strangers and conversations about how happy you must be. And yes, it can be a very exciting time but, likewise, it is a period of your life full of fluctuation in your physical body as well as mental state and maybe even a grieving process for the life that used to be and the changes that you anticipate.

This mixture of emotions is normal and all parts of this experience should be acknowledged. It is also important to note that these feelings aren’t exclusive to mothers; partners/fathers also experience this whirlwind of changes and the emotions that accompany them.

Coping with these pregnancy-related changes is essential to creating a healthy atmosphere to raise a child in. The earlier we gain tools to help us navigate our futures the better.

Here are some tips you can incorporate into your life to improve your mood/help cope with difficulties:

  • Start by recognizing and validating the emotions that seem contradictory with the expected happiness that having a child involves. Feeling anxious, irritable, sad, numb, and many other difficult emotions are fine and usually are showing up to indicate that there is something that needs to be addressed or talked about with your partner or other close people.
  • Be open to having more patience with you and your partner. Each of you are dealing with different stress factors that you might not even discuss for a variety of reasons such as not wanting to worry the other person, feeling guilt for not feeling happy, fear of the other person’s reaction, the need to appear strong to the world, etc.
  • Incorporate physical movement into your daily routine (e.g dancing, walking, yoga, etc)
  • Try relaxation exercises:
    • Deep breathing techniques (4 seconds in, 4 second hold, 6 second release)
    • Focus on tensing and relaxing different areas of your body
    • Try a guided meditation on YouTube or Insight timer.
  • Try immersing yourself in nature (e.g a walk in a park, a hike, a beach trip) with the intention to recharge your energy. Be present with nature and disconnect from electronics while you are there.
  • Set some time aside to see or talk to friends that are positive, accepting, encouraging.
  • Pamper yourself (hot bath, face treatment, invite curiosity and kindness to your self-talk, do something that makes you feel happy)
  • Actively try and find the silver linings of your day to day experiences
  • Do not take life so seriously, invite joy, engage in the kind of activities that make you laugh, like watching a funny movie, playing games, etc.
  • Listen to music that relaxes you.
  • Participate in a community activity or be a volunteer to help a cause (even if is online given the current situation)
  • Limit your time on social media. Unfortunately the infinite scrolling in all the different platforms available feeds the tendency to fall in useless and unrealistic comparisons increasing feelings of inadequacy or ideas that are based in images that might even not be real.

Additionally, if you need a bit more guidance, couples counseling or other forms of therapy can bring lessons that may only come from experienced professionals. You don’t have to be at rock-bottom to start therapy, there is always something to learn.

You can also explore resources online for this part of the journey such as: