Pressures at work and home, or worries about the future, on top of coping with health issues, tiredness and sickness can be overwhelming.
More than 1 in 10 women suffer from mental health issues in pregnancy and parenthood. Your mental wellbeing in pregnancy is just as important as your physical health and shouldn’t be ignored. Here are ten tips to help you relax in pregnancy.
1. Take time out for yourself every day
Do something you enjoy that’s just for you: take a warm bath, chill out to some music, close your eyes, massage your bump – whatever makes you feel peaceful.
2. Talk to someone you trust
Getting things off your chest and talking your worries through with an understanding and trustworthy friend, family member or colleague at work can make all the difference. Talk about how you’re feeling.
3. Get out and exercise every day
Exercise releases endorphins that will lift your mood. Did you know that staying active in pregnancy has been shown to reduce stress?
4. Rest when you need to
It’s hard to feel cheerful if you’re exhausted and uncomfortable, so make sure you take time to rest when you can.
5. Ask for practical help from family or friends
Can they cook you a meal, help with the shopping, or look after your children? Don't be afraid to ask for help, family and friends are there to support you.
6. Be realistic about how much you can do (whether at work, at home, or in your social life)
We can all be guilty of taking too much on for fear of letting someone down, and saying no can be tricky, but this is a stressful and tiring time. Say no if you need to - people will understand.
7. Eat well
Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop. Find out more about eating a healthy balanced diet in pregnancy here.
8. Be informed
If something’s worrying you, talk to your midwife or doctor about your options and where you might get support. You can talk to our midwives too! Join our Facebook page or send them an email.
9. Meet other pregnant women or new parents at local groups, activities or on online forum
Ask your midwife or children’s centre what’s available locally; sharing your feelings and experiences will make you realise that you are not the only one feeling this way.
10. Don’t believe the hype
It may seem like everyone else is happy and coping, but they aren’t. Lots of women feel low in pregnancy or after the birth, but most women who feel down hide it. Find out more about mental wellbeing in pregnancy here.
When to get help
If these tips don’t help you, and you feel low or worried for more than two weeks, it may be something more serious. The good news is that you can get help to feel better. Work out how you’re feeling with our Wellbeing plan, you can download it for free as a PDF here.
Exercising during your pregnancy is safe and healthy. You can do most types of exercise in pregnancy, including running, pilates, weights, yoga and swimming.
Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Now that you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat well. Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop.
Common questions about diet in pregnancy answered
Your most asked questions about mental wellbeing in pregnancy
Midwives and others in your care team are there to support you with your emotional health as well as physical health
- NHS Choices [accessed 8/5/2015] Talking therapies explainedhttp://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/Types-of-therapy.aspx#CBT
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical and service management guidance, clinical guideline 192. London: NICE, 2014. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg192
ℹLast reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.