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Mental Health

7 Tips How to take care of your mental health during pregnancy

Mental health during pregnancy: As a Gentle Birth Instructor, I meet pregnant women every day who are making a conscious decision to take care of their mental health. The great news is there are simple steps to help you on this journey. Make yourself a priority. You are growing a baby and you deserve to take good care of you.

Here are my top tips for taking care of your mental health during pregnancy.

1. Talk it out

It seems so obvious but doesn’t pretend to be a superwoman. It is completely natural to feel anxious during a time of huge change in your life. Talking to your partner, close friends or family about worries can really help to ease your mind. Join an online support group – there are many groups available. Find one that suits you as they can be a great resource for information, advice, and reassurance.

2. Keep doing the things that bring you joy, on your new timeline

If you’re finding late nights out with friends are too much to handle, meet up for lunch or go to an early movie. Keeping in touch with friends and having fun is important – laughter is great medicine.

3. Eat well
Eat well

You’re pregnant, holding down a job, maybe taking care of other children or running your home. Remember that food is fuel for you and your baby so choose healthy wholesome meals. 

4. Take a break and breathe

Make mindfulness part of your daily routine. By simply paying attention to your breath and slowing down the out-breath, you stimulate the relaxation response in your body. Slow breathing slows down the millions of thoughts running through your mind. Training your busy mind to pay attention on purpose takes a little practice but you will see the benefits after only a couple of weeks. It builds the muscle of focus, can reduce low-level feeling and increase emotional stability in stressful situations – very useful for labor and parenting too.

5. Start a gratitude journaling changes in life can be overwhelming but by keeping a gratitude journal you can shift your focus to a more positive mindset. Writing one or two lines a night helps to focus on what’s going right in your life and reduces negative self-talk. E.g. I am grateful for the stranger on the bus who gave me their seat or I am grateful for my partner who brought me a cuppa in bed this morning.
6. Stay active

There is nothing like a walk in the park on a nice evening to lift your spirits and shake off the stress of the day. Exercise lifts our moods and releases endorphins – good for mama and baby! Pregnancy yoga was my favorite way to keep active and it was a great way to meet other mums to be, we even kept in touch when our babies arrived. Swimming is another lovely gentle way to exercise and can help baby into the optimum position for birth!

7. Get your birth partner up to speed
Get your birth partner up to speed

A confident mum-to-be needs a confident birth partner. Your partner should fully understand your birth preferences and the best practical ways to support you. Go to a GentleBirth workshop to learn relaxation techniques, physical comfort strategies – with or without pain relief and how Brain Training for Birth can help you prepare for a positive experience. Go to your maternity unit’s antenatal classes too, this will give you a great insight into their policies, their approach and you may get a tour of the labor ward.

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