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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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First trimester: Your emotions

Becoming pregnant and growing into parenthood brings both positive and negative feelings. That can mean having mixed feelings about being pregnant. It is normal to feel anxious, happy, excited, scared, awed, and uncertain - plus many other emotions.

It can help to share your feelings. Talk with your husband, partner, family member or friend. If you don't feel comfortable talking with someone you know, talk with your health care provider.

Pregnancy hormones affect your emotions as well as your body. In addition, not getting enough sleep and dealing with physical discomforts can make you feel overwhelmed at times. As a result, you can have unpredictable mood swings.

Although they are normal, these mood swings can be unsettling. They usually decrease by the second trimester.

If you are concerned about feeling depressed or not like yourself, talk with your health care provider. The stress of pregnancy can lead to or can worsen depression.

About 10 percent of all pregnant women become depressed for various reasons. If you're depressed, there is help available. Talk with your health care provider for resources in your community.

Enhancing your sense of wellness

Ways to enhance your sense of wellness include:

  • Make sleep a priority. Rest often.
  • Eat a healthful diet for energy to combat the stresses of pregnancy. (See Weight gain and nutrition.)
  • Take a walk each day. Mild exercise can help you feel and sleep better.
  • Accept help when it is offered for things such as household chores and shopping.
  • Educate yourself about pregnancy and birth.
  • Visualize your baby floating comfortably in your uterus. Think of you and your baby doing a wonderful job together.
  • Plan "couple's time" to share your feelings and hopes for the baby.
  • Celebrate the parent that you are and the family you are becoming.

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 08/22/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts