I received a lot of feedback from a post I shared a month back on social media regarding my pregnancy struggles and asking for help! Many people messaged in saying how much they could relate to this topic and how they would love to know what holistic lifestyle practices I have been implementing to assist with my mental wellbeing during pregnancy and sleep.
As per my post, I am now also about to start seeing a councillor to just have someone to chat to (where there is no thoughts of burdening them with your feelings) and to take the load off and share the”responsibility”. This is provided through my hospital and most hospitals have pre and post natal support available so make sure to ask for help if you are struggling. It is such an important topic that does not get spoken about enough.
I personally didn’t expect to struggle with my mental wellbeing during pregnancy and it hit me pretty much overnight, out of no where in my second trimester. Attached to often is the stigma that if your not 100% happy during pregnancy you are either ungrateful/ a bad mum/ won’t love your child… But guess what! None of this is true. Pregnancy is a whirl wind of change both physically and emotionally. It creates chemical chaos in your body and can bring up emotional trauma and pain that you didn’t even know still existed. So take a few deep breathes, know that you are doing amazing and remember to just take it one day at a time, asking for help as needed along the way!
So here you have it, a list of the things I have implemented that have helped me. They are not always full proof but they do help and have allowed me to manage symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and on/ off mild depression.
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STRUGGLE – Asking For Help // I have honestly loved pregnancy despite earlier on saying to my husband “we are NEVER having another child again” after throwing up for the 5th time that day ? It has been such a beautiful bonding experience to share as a couple as well as personally, an amazing spiritual journey. It certainly has had its challenges, like many wonderful journeys. While I am beyond excited & many moments in my day reflect the above smile on my face, there has been struggle. So today at my midwife appointment I asked for help. We had already set up with my midwifes extra support post pregnancy to avoid postnatal depression however during I thought I would be fine. Unexpectedly a couple months ago I was suddenly struck with anxiety & insomnia out of no where. Two symptoms common in pregnancy, yet knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it easier. The two feed off each other & depression can creep in very easily. I feel blessed to know so many lifestyle tools to assist and while all these holistic practices have helped significantly in management, the responsibility feels overwhelming & exhausting (even with my husband 100% support). Asking for professional help & having someone to chat with (where you feel no burden on them) takes the load off & shares the “responsibly”. Ps. Appointment Update: baby is very healthy, active & measuring perfectly ☺️ Can’t wait to meet you little girl & looking forward to taking some of this mental load off so I can be more grounded & present for your arrival ? X #33weekspregnant
Mental Wellbeing During Pregnancy – What Helped Me!
- A solid bedtime routine!! Aiming to go to bed at a similar time each night.
- Wind down for at least an hour prior to bed. For me usually 2 hours is necessary.
- Avoid stimulation as much as possible e.g.. phones, laptops, stimulating music/ books/ TV shows/ conversations.
- Really using my skincare routine as a nurturing meditative practice of self love. I am currently using pregnancy safe natural products from Akin, Trilogy, Andalou and The Jojoba Company. I like to mix and match!
- Thinking of it like getting my baby to sleep – routine, nurture and calm.
- Creating a routine of shower, skincare, dinner, mindless book or TV with a cup of tea and little chocolate.
- Make my sleep environment calm, clutter free and comfortable temperature.
- Using a fan as both white noise and air circulation.
- Using ear plugs. No idea why but this one works better than most the other tips despite there is no noise in the room other than the fan.
- Avoiding thinking about going to sleep! If I ever think about it, the anxiety around sleep would increase and I have no chance.
- As soon as I put my head on the pillow to go to sleep I don’t think about what I am about to do, rather focus on slow mindful breathes and visualise my body clear and relaxed. Visually systematically releasing every inch of my body. This is a form of meditation.
- I also use a visualisation of my body as a tree. Sturdy and grounded in the earth and any thoughts, feeling and sense of anxiety are the leaves on the above branches in which I can release off the tree.
- The BareVitality Studio program meditations have also been helpful to follow along to.
- Using Rescue Remedy drops. Its pregnancy safe and receives mild stress and anxiety.
- Supplementing with magnesium.
- Consuming lots of grounding foods – root veggies, wholegrain, spices..
- Keeping my digestion as healthy as I can. An unbalanced gut causes so many mental health imbalances.
- Enjoying treats mindfully! This brings me joy so why not! Usually its my favourite chocolate.
- Baking!! No joke this has really helped. Cookies have been a favourite. With these 2 recipes my go-to’s: Choc Chip Cookies Choc Nut Fudge Cookies
- Physical contact with others I feel comfortable with. Eg. Hugs, massages..
- Massaging oil into bump everyday. This is both great for the skin + such a beautiful nurturing and bonding practice. I am currently using Weleda Pregnancy range.
- Moving my body in some way everyday. Yoga, light resistance exercises, walking, swimming. I have been following The BareVitality Studio movement program.
- A walk in the fresh air after finishing work for the day to shut off.
- Journaling out everything and anything in your head.
- This is a time to spoil myself before much of my attention goes into bub. I have treated myself to a few spa visits, a new outfit, self dates out to lunch or just an ice-cream in the park.
- Slowing down life ALOT, saying no more often to create space for the right “YES” things in my life. Plus really reducing/ avoiding contact with anyone who does not make me feel happy and uplifted.
- Laughing and singing everyday. It works!! Also just making sure you fit in “play”.
- Focusing on all the beautiful and amazing aspects of my body and self in being able to grow a human.
There is a lot and I definitely don’t do them all everyday. I choose what I need that day, while keeping some an everyday routine. It has taken a lot of trial and error and needs constant adjustments however these practices have really helped me and whether your pregnant or not they hopefully may help you.
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- mental health, pregnancy, wellbeing