Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pregnancy: Nurture Your Mental Health

Much of pregnancy is filled with "firsts" that mothers-to-be recall with fondness and always smile when remembering. These would include things such as first hearing the baby's heartbeat, first seeing a sonogram with the new little person posing for his or her first portrait, and of course feeling that first kick that a mother never forgets.

While pregnant, we often find ourselves daydreaming about what we will do with our new little prince or princess, what the first Christmas will be like, and anything else that comes into our mind to daydream about.

In theory it sounds like the calmest and most serene time that can happen in a woman's life. Unfortunately that isn't always accurate because whether or not it is warranted, there are many worries that come along with a pregnancy. While pregnant, we need to remember to take some breaks to nurture ourselves as well as the rest of the family or partner if there are no other children.

Sometimes health problems arise with a pregnancy that can become frightening. Blood pressure can rise and there may be swelling or difficulty breathing when the baby is big enough to cause that. Your doctor will also be checking for toxemia especially if this is your first pregnancy. So those are just a few of the medical things to worry about. When you are nurturing your mental health during times of worry over these matters, just make a call to your doctor or nurse to put your mind at ease about the uncertainties.

In addition to health worries, there are also plenty of things to fret about concerning the baby. Is he or she growing properly? If you haven't felt a kick for a while, is something wrong? Will you be a good parent? How will you know how to make the right decisions when it comes to raising a child?

Still another worry is one of watching after your safety. We know that falls can be very damaging to the baby. We know that certain foods and chemicals in foods can cause the baby distress so we need to make sure we don't unknowingly eat something harmful. If it is winter we dread and fear walking on ice and when we have to navigate steps, we are extra careful. If we need to spend time with large crowds of people we are always mindful of making sure there isn't a blow to our stomach, thus to the baby.

All these things make mental health breaks a very good idea. They are simple to do, just indulge yourself! If you enjoy baths, treat yourself to a long one complete with candles if you wish. Do you enjoy reading the latest top selling book? Go for it! Do not be afraid to take a nap when you feel stressed or tired. Ask a friend to meet you for lunch or walk in the park. If you work outside of the home, use your break times to put your feet up and close your eyes for those few minutes.

Some pregnancy worries can be alleviated if you make sure to keep your doctor appointments and take the prenatal vitamins you will be advised to take. That will not take all the fears away, though, so finding a group of others in your position either locally or online is often one of the best things an expectant mother can do for her mental health.