Pregnancy can be an emotional time, full of excitement, trepidation, and moments of stress. Women and birthing people who are pregnant go through numerous changes during pregnancy that can have a significant impact on their physical and emotional health.
Facing up to the realities of a complicated pregnancy can be challenging for those enduring them. From fears for the baby’s health to fears about what the future holds, experiencing complications during pregnancy is never easy.
Learning how you can mentally process pregnancy challenges will better support the health of both yourself and your baby.
The Most Common Pregnancy Complications
Pregnancy complications do not affect everyone. In fact, most pregnancies are able to reach full term without any complications. However, for those who do experience complications during their pregnancy, whether involving their baby’s health, their own, or both, it can be very distressing. Some of the most common pregnancy complications include:
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Severe vomiting
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Preterm Labor
Coping with the many uncertainties and physical changes that come with pregnancy can be a challenge. However, dealing with complications during pregnancy, particularly if these have been the result of sub-standard care from a hospital, can take a great toll on both the mental and physical health of the woman or birthing person.
It is essential that you take care of your mental and physical health as you navigate pregnancy and birth. Here we share how you can mentally deal with any complications you may face during your pregnancy.
Practice Self Care and Mindfulness
For many women and birthing people, living through the ten months of pregnancy can feel like you’re hurtling towards a finish line without any time to prepare. For some pregnancy seems to fly by. It’s challenging to navigate how busy life is and at times pregnant folks forget to take care of themselves.
Practicing self care during pregnancy is essential for softening both the mind and body so that you are better prepared to deal with the complications that may come with a pregnancy. Self care means something different for everyone. Self care is checking in with one’s self to determine how to best meet your needs. It’s about slowing down and being present. This might include taking a bath, reading a book, hanging out with friends, taking a walk. Whatever helps you unwind is what you should prioritize during pregnancy. Practicing self care during your pregnancy will help create a sense of ease.
We know that pregnancy affects everyone differently. Some pregnant folks feel stronger and healthier than they ever have before, while others suffer with weeks of sickness. However you’re feeling, it’s important to get moving as soon as you can manage it. Exercise in pregnancy has many benefits, not just for your physical health but also on your mental health.
If you are able to, try taking a gentle walk each day or partake in low impact exercises such as swimming and pregnancy yoga. Keeping active can help reduce the severity of pregnancy complications and can also help ease perinatal mood symptoms. Exercising in pregnancy is safe and highly recommended by health professionals. So, as soon as you feel well enough, try to move your body.
Pregnancy forces you to confront a whole host of emotions and physical changes. Whether you find yourself dealing with debilitating morning sickness, anxiety or depression, or you simply need some extra help around the house, it’s important to practice asking for help. Trying to deal with everything on your own will only increase the challenges you are facing and make it harder to deal with any pregnancy complications you may experience.
Whether you need help with family meals, tackling your laundry pile, someone to drive you to appointments, or just a friend to sit and chat with you once or twice a week, practice asking for help when you need it. You can seek help from friends and family, your midwife, or your prenatal community. Whatever you are struggling with, remember that you are not alone.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal can be a helpful way to manage stress, and record how you’re feeling, and help manage fears and anxieties about the future. Pregnancy journaling is beneficial for women and birthing people experiencing complications during their pregnancies as it provides a ritual to share their feelings and record their symptoms. While this information does not have to be shared with anyone, some find it is a helpful record to share with their doula, midwife or even their therapist at certain times.
Keeping a journal is also a fantastic way to record your pregnancy, write letters to your baby, and become more comfortable and connected with the thought of becoming a mother. Some women pass their journals onto their children as a keepsake, while others prefer to keep the journal for reference and use in future pregnancies. Journaling in pregnancy is extremely beneficial and can help you mentally deal with any complications and challenges you may face.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for many, but like all good things, it doesn’t come without its challenges. If you have been struggling with complications during your pregnancy, we hope the tips in this article help you mentally process and deal with these in a healthy way.