Recharging your batteries
What can we do to look after our emotional wellbeing during pregnancy?
A good place to start is the five ways to wellbeing.
Connect: Connect with people around you – family, friends, workmates, neighbours. Feeling close to other people is a basic human need and helps us to function well. Joining an antenatal class and talking to others about your experience and listening to theirs can help to reduce fears and worries; it can also be fun and a way to make new friends.
Be active: Exercising makes you feel good – hormones called endorphins are released when we exercise, and it’s these chemicals that lift our mood. Walking, swimming, dancing, and yoga are all good ways to build activity into your day, and if you do it with others, then you’re connecting too!
Take notice: Be aware of the world around you and notice what you are feeling. Meditation and breathing exercises can help you to relax (and may come in handy during the early stages of labour). Spending some time each day focussing on your growing baby by resting your hands on your bump will help to calm your worries about day-to-day things. Open a window or go outside - what can you hear? What can you smell? What do you notice?
Keep learning: Learning new things can help us to feel more confident as well as being fun. Take the opportunity to learn more about birthing options by watching a video or reading information sheets from the midwife. Perhaps there’s something you wanted to try but never got round to it or had the time?
Give: Thank someone, smile, or do something nice for a friend - helping others helps us to feel happy too.
What ideas do you have to help boost your emotional wellbeing during pregnancy?
Here are a few ideas that other expectant mum’s have found helpful - there is space for you to add your own thoughts as well:
- Taking time for a soak in the bath
- Walking in the park
- Ringing a friend
- Rubbing my tummy and talking to baby
- Being kind to myself - I’m doing my best
For more information on emotional wellbeing and mental health before, during and after pregnancy:
- NHS approved: Mental health apps
For local support get in touch with:
- Specialist Health Visitors for Perinatal Mental Health https://abetterstartsouthend.co.uk/specialist-health-visitors-for-perinatal-mental-health/ For more information or to access the service, contact Ros: 07866609752 or Hilary: 07816965420
- PEWS (Emotional Wellbeing Service) – 01702 538170
- Women’s aid (Local) – 01702 61