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Not all women enjoy pregnancy and that’s ok. You don’t need to love every moment of being pregnant. However, if you’re feeling pregnant and miserable, here are some tips to help you feel a little less miserable throughout each trimester.
Some of you reading this might be thinking “what’s there to be miserable about during pregnancy?”.
Unfortunately, not all women are blessed with an easy pregnancy. Here are some fun facts about what can make pregnancy feel a little miserable for women:
- Around 14-23% of women will struggle with symptoms of perinatal depression (depression during pregnancy).
- Approximately 8% of women will experience high blood pressure (and possible complications) while pregnant.
In addition to these not so fun pregnancy side effects, there are many other factors to consider. We’ll get into those a little later. For now, here are the 10 things to do when you’re having a miserable pregnancy.
10 Things to do When You’re Pregnant and Miserable
1. Accept and Validate Your Feelings
I have a secret for you, ready? There is NOTHING wrong if you’re not enjoying your pregnancy. Pregnancy can take such a toll on a woman’s body and mental health that sometimes it truly isn’t enjoyable all of the time.
Instead of fighting those feelings, sit with them. Accept them. Give yourself the space that’s needed so you can instead turn “I hate being pregnant” into “I am not enjoying this pregnancy and it’s ok if I don’t enjoy it”. See that reframing I did there? I learned that from the Visible Motherhood Workbook. It has so many wonderful reframing exercises in there where you can learn how to validate what you’re feeling while also turning it into a positive thought where you no longer have to feel guilty for having these feelings.
2. Talk to Someone
Sometimes, the best thing a mom can do is talk to someone about how she is feeling. Talking about our feelings, in general, has been shown to be therapeutic and helpful in processing them.
You could talk to a close friend or family member — someone who will listen without judgment. If you don’t have someone close you can talk to, you can also reach out and try getting professional help. Having a rough pregnancy is not something you should have to go through alone.
3. Minimize Stress
According to March of Dimes, “During pregnancy, stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces)“. Though feelings of stress are understandably bound to happen at some point throughout pregnancy, it’s important to not let it spiral out of control. Need some ways to help manage stress for the rest of the pregnancy?
- Reframing your thoughts (turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts without the guilt attached — learn more with the Visible Motherhood Workbook)
- Move your body
- Get outside, go on a short walk and get some fresh air
- Spend time getting to know your pregnant body
- Practice meditating
- Take a childbirth class (this can help you learn more about your changing body and calm any nerves associated with labor and delivery)
4. Nourish Your Body
Consuming healthy foods and staying active are two key ways to nourish your body while pregnant. Not only is it a good idea for your growing baby, but also for you. You should feel more energized and possibly find yourself in a better mood more often, too.
However, if you’re dealing with things like gestational diabetes, acid reflux, constant nausea, or worst — hyperemesis gravidarum; it can be tough to eat just about anything. If you can and are able, try to consume healthy meals if and whenever possible. Here are a few healthy meal ideas for pregnant and breastfeeding moms you can try!
5. Find Your Tribe
The truth is, you are not the only mom struggling with your pregnancy. In fact, there are many other moms out there feeling just as alone through their pregnancy too. Connect with those moms and find your tribe.
There is nothing more powerful than a group of pregnant women uniting through their struggles to get through it together. If you’re struggling to find your tribe, you can join an online support group like this one or find local motherhood meetups to meet in person. At the end of the day, your tribe can be anyone that’s willing to listen and be supportive of your feelings.
6. Take Time to Bond with Your Bump
Sometimes, that bond between you and your growing baby in your belly can help the worst days of pregnancy feel a bit less miserable.
Here are a few ideas to help you bond with your baby bump:
- Sing and dance with your baby bump
- Read your baby a story
- Interact with your baby’s movements (for moms who can feel baby’s kicks in the second trimester or third trimester)
- Take a bath and admire your baby bump
- Listen to music with your baby
Once you really start to feel that strong connection with your baby, you might find yourself feeling a more positive attitude and having fewer negative emotions.
7. Ask for Help
If you find pregnant life to be very overwhelming, you can always ask for help. Call a friend or family member over to help you knock out whatever chores you need a hand with. Talk to your boss about cutting your hours back if work is too much. Ask your partner to take over certain household tasks for now.
I’ll never forget my second pregnancy when I had hyperemesis gravidarum — debilitating all-day nausea associated with pregnancy. I was working from home and I still had to call my mom to help babysit my 1-year-old while also cutting back my work hours. This symptom was such a shock for me as I never experienced nausea in my first pregnancy.
I just wasn’t able to manage it all while feeling physically ill all day long. Eventually, I ended up hospitalized to get some relief and thank goodness it seemed to subside in my second trimester of pregnancy. All that to say there’s no way I would have gotten through without extra help.
8. Prioritize Your Needs
If one of the reasons you’re having a difficult time with pregnancy is because the pregnancy is running your life, ask yourself: are you prioritizing your needs? Self care is a golden rule of motherhood. Yes, pregnancy is a beautiful (yet sometimes unenjoyable) time. Yes, raising a baby is precious. However, you will burn out so fast if you’re not spending time on yourself too. Want to know a secret? Self care can be ANYTHING you want it to be!
Self care can be a relaxing bath, a stroll around the neighborhood, writing in a journal, and so much more! Whatever you think makes you feel fulfilled — try to incorporate it weekly throughout your pregnancy.
9. Set Boundaries with Friends and Family
Sometimes, hanging out with certain friends or family members can make pregnant moms really uncomfortable and stressed out. Hence the importance of setting boundaries with them. Remember, boundaries are healthy! They provide a way to continue a relationship to exist and grow in a positive manner vs a toxic one.
If Aunt Sally keeps making you feel guilty for not enjoying pregnancy the way she did, kindly remind her that her comments make you feel bad and you’d appreciate it if she no longer bring them up.
10. Use a Journal
One of the best ways to get everything out (especially if you have nobody to talk to) is to journal them. I remember I’d wake up and write in my journal in the mornings to set myself up for a positive day (despite feeling incredibly sick) and it always made me feel a little bit better mentally.
Pregnancy hormones are no joke. They can take you from happy to sobbing in 0.0001 seconds. Though it’s normal, you have to stay on top of it to make sure you don’t sink into any type of prenatal depression or anxiety. Journaling can be a great way to keep track of those feelings and pick up on any patterns that you might need more help and support.
Other things to do if you’re miserable and pregnant
If you’re still dreading the long way you have to go for the rest of your pregnancy, try some of these tips below!
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
When all else fails, give your doctor a call. They can always provide helpful insight, resources, and a diagnosis if you’re struggling with medical issues or complications of pregnancy.
Use Daily Pregnancy Affirmations
Pregnancy affirmations work wonders to help you reframe negative thoughts and combat them throughout the day as well. It’s no wonder so many mothers use them during childbirth! You can even make your own affirmations, write them down on a paper or notecard and stick them in the areas you’re likely to see them the most.
Make a Pregnancy Countdown Calendar
If your pregnancy feels like it’ll never end, I promise, your due date will be here in no time. One way to have some fun is by using a countdown calendar! You can snag an adorable countdown calendar on Etsy full of weekly pregnancy facts, it makes waiting for your baby so much fun!
Identify the Things You Dislike Most About Pregnancy
Lastly, try to identify what you dislike the most about pregnancy. When you can narrow it down, it makes it much easier to try and remedy.
Not saying you need to love pregnant, but if you hate it because you’re physically sick (like I was) — well, nobody deserves to feel that sick while pregnant! That warrants a call to the doctor to try and find some remedies ASAP. If you’re disliking it because of aches and pains, you can look into pregnancy girdles or even pregnancy pillows to help alleviate some of that discomfort.
Pregnancy doesn’t need to always be enjoyable. In fact, it’s quite miserable for some. Hopefully, these tips can help you enjoy some of your pregnancy if you’re drained from feeling pregnant and miserable. Did you have a tough pregnancy; what tips can you share with other expecting mothers in the same boat — comment them below.
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