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Dealing with Pregnancy Emotions

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can have a profound effect on your emotional well-being. Women are likely to experience a variety of emotional reactions throughout the postnatal period and during birth. Pregnancy tends to evoke negative and positive emotions, so it is wise to devise a variety of coping strategies to help you overcome any unexpected mood swings during pregnancy.

Pregnant females sometimes say their emotions are "running riot" but this should come as no surprise. Having a baby is a life-changing event and complex emotions are just one of the few drawbacks of being pregnant. Mums-to-be should rest and ensure they get plenty of sleep to help them cope with emotional changes. Joining an prenatal class will give you the opportunity to share experiences with other expectant mums. It is also reassuring to gather a support network and to mix with other soon-to-be Mums who are trying to cope with the emotional turmoil pregnancy can bring. Pregnancy is likely to generate a number of emotions including:

  • Joy
  • Surprise
  • Love
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sadness

Planned pregnancies bring joy and happiness, although you may experience the usual discomforts such as tiredness and morning sickness. A surprise pregnancy may be welcomed or it could come as a shock to the system. Women who have a straightforward birth often form an instant bond with their new-born babe; however, labour complications can delay the mother-child bonding process. A few females develop a fear of giving birth and hormonal changes during pregnancy have the potential to make you feel angry, resentful, insecure and vulnerable. A high percentage of pregnant women will find their emotions are "all over the place" and some will even feel an overwhelming sense of sadness.

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Follow these ten simple steps to keep yourself healthy during pregnancy. Taking good care of yourself and your unborn baby will make you feel amazing.

  1. Eat small meals regularly. Six small well-balanced meals daily is sufficient to keep you and your unborn child well-nourished
  2. Avoid drinks containing artificial colouring and caffeine but drink plenty of fluids. Ideally, a pregnant woman should drink around ten glasses of water daily
  3. The midwife or obstetrician may suggest taking a daily prenatal vitamin. Take the vitamin pill if you are advised to
  4. Don't expose yourself or your unborn child to second-hand smoke. More importantly, don't smoke whilst pregnant
  5. Avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  6. Consult the obstetrician or midwife before taking any herbal remedy or over-the-counter medication
  7. Exercise during pregnancy. Short periods of exercise are good for your health and regular exercise lowers stress levels. Take a gentle fifteen minute walk daily or enroll in an exercise class for pregnant women
  8. Wear shoes that don't restrict your feet. Comfortable footwear should be worn when pregnant. Put your feet up on a foot stool whenever possible to prevent your ankles and legs from swelling
  9. Aim for eight hours sleep a night. If pregnancy is causing sleep disturbance take short daily naps whenever possible.
  10. Pregnant women must continue to wear a safety belt in a motor vehicle, however, the shoulder strap should be worn over the collar bone and the lap strap should be positioned under the baby bump. We hope you find these ten tips for a healthy pregnancy helpful.

Home Births-The Benefits and Risks

A percentage of pregnant women are happy to give birth in hospital but some mums-to-be love the idea of having their baby delivered at home. Recent research indicates that healthy women who enjoy a straightforward pregnancy and those who have experienced no previous obstetric complications could benefit from a home delivery. However, not all pregnancies are classed as "low risk". In general, women who are expecting their first child, those with a history of childbirth complications or expectant mothers with health problems will be advised to have their baby in hospital. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of giving birth at home:

The Pros of a Home Birth

  • Research shows low-risk women can safely give birth in the comfort of their own home
  • Loved-ones can be on-hand to offer support during labour and throughout the birthing process
  • Pregnant women who choose to have their baby at home can drink, eat, move freely and even bathe as and when they wish
  • There is no rush to attend the maternity unit as the care providers come when called
  • The midwife is on hand at all times, providing expert one-to-one care
  • The new born baby can begin to breast feed immediately, aiding the bonding process
  • Family members will view childbirth as a natural process, rather than a medical condition or an illness

The Cons of Home Birthing

    • Pregnant women who choose to have their baby at home are solely responsible for their physical, mental and spiritual health
    • The majority of babies are born in a hospital, so women who require a caesarean or a forceps delivery are in the right place and can be dealt with immediately
    • Pain-killers may not be as readily available at home births

We hope you find these tips useful. Learning to understand the benefits and possible risks of a home birth will help you to make an informed decision.