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Emotional Rollercoaster First Trimester

Too often you hear how pregnant women are “hormonal” and “unpredictable” - but hormones are only part of the story.

Nobody on this planet has more invested in your pregnancy than you do - your life is changing and will change more than anyone else’s because of it, and it is normal to feel more intense about it than others do. You are more concerned, more anxious - but also more loving and more present. There are hormones involved in the process too, much like the ones you feel during PMS - times a million. Pregnancy is like PMS in that way - your filters are down and it’s harder to hide your real feelings. It’s an opportunity to look at life more realistically and make the changes you need to feel happier and more motivated to meet your needs as they happen instead of putting them off - and that’s a good thing.
Unresolved feelings, anxiety and past traumas have an effect on your physical health - insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, poor eating habits (binge eating or avoiding food) and digestive problems are just some of the ways your mental health can manifest itself in your physical health. It’s not something that you can or should ignore because all of these things can cause pregnancy and birth complications. It’s ok to tell your partner, midwife, doctor or therapist that you are having some feelings you’d like to talk through or get additional support for - that’s part of taking care of yourself and your baby.

I can’t believe I’m pregnant
It takes a while for the idea that you’re pregnant to really sink in - sometimes you catch yourself doing something and then remember - I’m pregnant! Should I be doing this?! As your pregnancy progresses it will come more naturally to you - and after you give birth it will take a while to r remember that you’re not pregnant anymore. Sometimes you can also feel ambivalent - I’m pregnant, so what - that’s also part of getting used to the idea that you’re pregnant.

Take-away messages
• Pregnancy is as normal and safe as life is
• Whenever you can, do your best to eat well and get movement into your daily routine
• A lot is at stake when you’re pregnant - for you, your baby and your family, and it’s normal to be worried or anxious
• Over thinking is not helpful. You can’t control every single part of your pregnancy, you can only do your best - and that is enough
• Joining a moms’ group, online or in person, can help you process some of what’s going on and share with women who are going through the same thing
• Try to re-frame some of your worries - I’m worried about having a miscarriage can be re-framed into I am confident that I will have all the medical help I need, if I need it
• Talk to your midwife, doctor or therapist about what you’re feeling
• Seeing a therapist in your pregnancy if you need to is an investment in your health and well-being, not a frill or a sign that you’re “losing it”
Try This
Practicing positive affirmations can be a good way to train yourself to think positively about yourself and pregnancy. The key to making them successful is to practice them when you are feeling positive and open to them. Find one or two that feel right for you, and focus on them - then you can add more. Commit to repeating them a few times a day - out loud or to yourself. Write them on a piece of paper that you put in a visible place as a reminder to repeat them at least a few times a day. Some ideas for affirmations can include:
• My pregnant body is strong and capable.
• I am creating a happy, healthy and loved baby.
• My body is healthy and I am happy.
• I accept that my pregnancy, and later my labour and birth, can happen safely and as they should.
• I am surrounded by love and support.
• I am in a loving relationship with my partner and those around me.
• I feel gratitude for my pregnancy, my baby and my family.
• I am safe and secure.
• I can openly and honestly communicate my intimate and sexual needs during pregnancy with my partner.
If you are particularly worried about something, try turning it into an affirmation. For example, “I am worried that I will not be a good mother” can become the affirmation “I have all the resources and love I need to protect, care for and love my baby”.


Adapted from The Attachment Pregnancy by Laurel Wilson and Tracy
Wilson Peters