Emotional wellbeing

Your health is important, not just during pregnancy but afterwards as well. Health doesn't just mean your physical health – your emotional wellbeing is really important too.

There are lots of steps you can take to feel physically and emotionally at your best in pregnancy.  Here are some tried and tested tips:

Diet

What you eat is important – it's a good time to really think about your diet and
time to make some changes that can have a big impact.

Sleep and rest

There may be times when you are full of energy and times when you feel exhausted. It's important to make time to relax and wind down. You might find mindfulness or meditation useful.

Exercise

If you already take regular exercise then don't stop! Talk to your midwife or doctor if you think you might be doing too much. If you don't take regular exercise think about doing something that appeals to you –swimming, yoga and walking are all excellent ways to keep fit and lift your mood if you are new to exercise.

Relationships

This is a time to think about who you have around you to share your pregnancy and thoughts about your baby. And to think about who will be around to support you when baby arrives. This may be your partner, your mum, your sister or a friend.

Relationships can change during pregnancy. If you are concerned about this talk to your midwife or doctor.

Antenatal education

There's much to find out and keeping informed about the changes to your growing body and baby will help you feel more in control of what can feel sometimes like an exciting but challenging time.

Talk to someone

Many women are worried about the impact a baby will have on their lives and how they will cope with all the changes that lie ahead. Many women are worried about the impact a baby will have on their  lives and how they will cope with all the changes ahead. These worries might include:

  • Becoming a mother - will I be good enough?
  • Will I stop work?
  • Will my relationship with my partner and family and friends change?
  • Do I have enough support to help me be the best mum I can be?
  • Will my pregnancy progress normally?
  • What if there are problems with the baby?
  • What will giving birth be like? Can I do it?

Depression and anxiety in pregnancy

All of these anxieties are common and normal, and talking to other people and sharing your feelings can be reassuring. For some women depression and anxiety can be a problem in pregnancy – about 1 in10 women will experience some degree of anxiety or depression. Some woman will have a pre-existing mental illness or may have had an illness in the past.

Being pregnant, no matter how happy you may be, will not protect you from becoming unwell during or after pregnancy. If you are one of this group of women talk to your midwife, GP or other health professionals for an individualised plan and advice.

For more information or to have an initial conversation about individual mental health concerns, please contact our specialist mental health midwives Julia Lidderdale and Louise Nunn or call us on 07920 751 234 or 020 8321 6333.