Mental Health

Many women experience changes in their mood, thoughts or behaviours during pregnancy. There are so many changes, so many uncertainties and this all creates a lot of stress! Whether you are thrilled and or worried about your pregnancy, you are still likely to experience stress. Unfortunately, your body reacts to good and bad stress in similar ways and this can negatively affect your health.

Talking to someone you trust can be very helpful when you are feeling upset. Let them know how you are feeling and do not feel badly if you aren't 100 per cent sure about being pregnant or if you aren't completely happy. Most pregnant women experience highs and lows and sometimes they experience both feelings at once.

Some women find stress relief in reading, creating, singing, gardening, cooking, writing or helping others. Everyone has her own way of relaxing and winding down. What's yours? Practicing the art of self-care – doing something just for yourself that makes you feel good – every day is a great way to reduce your stress. Self-care does not need to take a long time and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money, so find something that rejuvenates your spirit and give yourself the permission and order to do it daily!

Exercise is also a great stress buster that will increase your health and prepare you for birth. Some people find it helpful to exercise with a friend to encourage continued participation. Others enjoy working out at home or walking around the neighbourhood. If you are concerned about exercising while pregnant, try to relax – most women are encouraged to exercise right until they give birth. Speak to your health care provider or midwife if you have any questions or concerns.