Pregnancy

How pregnancy affects your mood

Being pregnant puts a strain on both your body and your mind. It’s completely normal for mums-to-be to feel a bit stressed or worried. A lot of the time you might feel like your emotions are all over the place.

baby in womb with positive mood

When mums-to-be are happy so are their babies

Being pregnant is often a wonderful time to start to develop a loving bond with your growing baby. Pregnancy can also put a strain on your body, mind and everything around you including relationships and finances.

It’s completely normal to feel worried or stressed in pregnancy. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to manage your emotions so that they don’t become a problem for you or your baby.

Things you can do:

  • Avoid getting overwhelmed: take help from others in preparing for your baby’s arrival
  • Make time for you: a short and simple relaxation in the bath could be enough to relieve stress and lift your mood
  • Talk and sing to your baby: build a loving bond and help your baby to start to feel soothed by the sound of your voice

Getting help:

  • When you generally feel ok but a bit worried or low from time to time: talk to someone you trust.
  • When you feel worry or low mood is bothering you more than usual: talk to your midwife, health visitor or children’s centre.
  • When anxiety or low mood starts to interrupt your day-to-day life: speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.

Talk it over

Telling someone you trust about how you feel doesn’t mean you’re failing, letting anyone down or that you’re ‘different’. Talking about your feelings might feel daunting now but you’ll feel so much better afterwards.

Speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP for support on how to look after your mental health in pregnancy. You could also talk to a friend or relative first if you feel more comfortable – as long as you get the support you need.

Accept you cant change everything

Mindfulness sessions

Many children’s centres in Liverpool run mindfulness sessions to help you gather your thoughts and relax.  Contact your nearest centre to see when sessions are available.

What do you want to know?

Health professionals, including your midwife, are there to support you, not to judge you. They can offer you support as well as suggesting other professional help.

Some anti-depressants are safe in pregnancy but medications aren’t always the best solution when it comes to mental and emotional health – talking therapies or self-help can often be more helpful.  Your GP or midwife will advise you on the safest and best option for you.

Your baby will find your voice comforting. Lots of mums-to-be and partners read, sing and talk to their baby in the womb. You could even tell them about things you’re worried about. After all, sharing with your baby is part of your growing relationship.

It’s how you feel that’s important – not how you think you should feel. Feeling stressed, anxious or a bit down when you’re pregnant is more common than you might think.

Have a chat with your midwife or GP if you have any questions about mental health and pregnancy.

LivPip and Postnatal Depression Service (PND) offer free one-to-one sessions (including home visits) as well as group support for mums-to-be, new mums and their partners.

Mellow Bumps and Mums Matter are free courses that help with relaxation techniques and baby bonding.

You can be referred to these services by your midwife, health visitor or GP. Alternatively, you can self-refer:

5 steps to wellbeing in pregnancy

Connect

– talk to your partner, keep in touch with friends and family.  Make new friends through activities for mums-to-be.

Be active

– being active is good for your body, mind and growing baby. Try walking, swimming or yoga.

Take notice

– of how you are feeling. Make time for you to relax, reflect and unwind.

Learn

– find out more about pregnancy and how your baby is developing. Try antenatal groups or classes for pregnant women.

Give

– are you feeling good and able to help others? Do you know other mums-to-be that would appreciate some support?  Helping others lifts your mood!

Mental health myths uncovered

“My baby could be taken away from me if I admit to feeling anxious or depressed.”

…Myth

Truth…

You would never have your baby taken away just because you acknowledged feeling anxious or depressed. Talking to someone you trust about how you’re feeling shows you’re putting your baby’s needs first and is often the first step towards feeling better. Friends, family and health professionals are there to help you to feel better and to support you and your family.

” I should feel happy throughout my pregnancy.”

…Myth

Truth…

Being pregnant is a strain on your emotions. Many mums-to-be experience some feelings of worry and stress when they’re expecting a baby. If you feel like your emotions are getting the better of you, it’s important that you tell someone you trust.

“Talking about how I’m feeling will make it worse.”

…Myth

Truth…

Talking about your worries or concerns, whether that’s with your partner, a family member, friend, midwife, health visitor or GP, will be the first step to helping you feel better.

5 steps to mindfulness

Mindful meditation helps you relax. It’s easy, have a go:

Take 5 minutes: find a quiet comfortable space

Close your eyes and empty your mind of any worries

Focus on your breathing – in through your nose and out from your mouth

When you start to feel relaxed, take deep breaths in through your nose and out from your mouth

Concentrate on relaxing each muscle in your body until you feel completely relaxed

Find out more...

You can find out more by visiting the following websites

NHS logo

NHS pregnancy and mental health guide

Advice if you’ve had mental ill health in the past or to find out the symptoms of mental ill health in pregnancy and how to get help.

Liverpool City Council logo

Children's centres

Children’s centres across Liverpool run mindfulness sessions to help you with relaxation techniques.  Contact your nearest centre for more information.

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