How to Stay Sane During Pregnancy

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I have met a couple of mothers-to-be over the years who seem to float through their pregnancies on a proverbial cloud. Their skin seems to glow with a natural radiance, their eyes shine, and when asked if they feel nervous about the “big day” they just smile and give their partner this loving, knowing look.

healthy pregnant

Of course it will be difficult, they seem to say. But it’s all going to be worth it and I never forget that.

I wish I could say that I possessed that presence of mind and unfathomable unflappability throughout my trimesters, but that would just be a lie. The fact of the matter is that a surge of internal biochemical reactions coupled with the knowledge that everything in my whole life was about to radically change forever and ever got to me. I became, in no uncertain terms, something of a beast to be around. One day I was anxious and jumpy, the next bleak and exhausted, then all of a sudden I’d feel a surge of optimism.

Thankfully, my husband, friends and relatives are rather understanding individuals with the ability to laugh. They all somehow got through nine-plus months of my mood swings, sudden insecurities and panic attacks and are still all on speaking terms with me.

Here are a few things I learned along the way about dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of pregnancy.

Find an outlet or coping mechanism early on. Take the time to figure out what really helps you unwind and burn off stress. It can be a yoga class, a cup of tea at your favorite place, or treating yourself to a foot massage. All that matters is that it helps you clear your head and find your center when it counts.

There is such a thing as a filter. Sometimes, unbidden, the worst thoughts or reactions can pop into your head. I’m not suggesting that you always censor yourself, but especially when you’re in a slightly more volatile emotional state than normal, it’s worth stopping and evaluating the situation. Why are you upset? Is your reaction proportionate to the situation? Take a minute to come down and assess before simply spitting out what’s on your mind.

Do not let your emotions snowball. That being said, don’t hold too much back. All those thoughts and feelings aren’t meant to build up. Find a friend or, if necessary, a professional, with whom you can talk things through.

Always communicate with your partner. Although you might feel like you’re going through this process alone, it’s important to remember that everything that’s going on has a tremendous impact on your partner as well. You’re in this big, crazy life adventure together.

Chill. No matter how many parenting books you read, you are not going to be a 100 percent perfect parent. And that’s okay. If there are snags and bumps in those nine months, learn when to take a deep breath and let them go.

Photo Credit: Ⅿeagan via Compfight cc

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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