Mental health affects all aspects of our lives. That is why it is incredibly important to ensure that we are devoting time to take care of our mental health, especially during pregnancy and postpartum. When mothers’ mental health needs are not met, its impact on our physical health can influence pregnancy, birth, the process of bonding with our babies and partners, the process of establishing breastfeeding successfully and so much more.
For this reason, I would love to share with you my 6 tips to keep your mental health in check during your pregnancy!
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health concerns during pregnancy affecting between 10% and 15% of pregnant people and stress can facilitate either of them. Because of this, my first tip to keep your mental health in check is to have a relaxation practice.
Practice relaxation – practising relaxation every day during your pregnancy can be very beneficial; you can read more about this topic on my blog post ‘Why practising relaxation during pregnancy is important (https://www.all4mommy.com/
Eat healthily – Research shows that there is a link between what you eat and how you feel; so having a balanced diet can improve the way you feel. This is because eating healthy foods promotes the growth of “good” bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract (aka our second brain) which affects the production of neurotransmitters (for example dopamine and serotonin) and helps them to be received by the brain easily. The best you can do to eat healthily is to eat REAL FOOD or foods that are minimally processed; fresh fruits and vegetables, plant-based foods, carbs with whole grains, animal protein, nuts and seeds. Also, try to have all the colours of the rainbow on your plate, the more colours on your plate, the more variety of nutrients you are eating.
Do something that you enjoy – find some time each day or at least a few times per week to do something you enjoy. Whether that is watching TV, going for a walk, reading a book, crocheting or having a relaxing bath, take some time to yourself!
Let loved ones help – ask for help and let your loved ones help you with chores around the house. This is a huge piece of the puzzle, especially for when your baby joins you earthside. It is important to learn what things are essential for you and which you can delegate in preparation for your postpartum period.
Get out – go out to nature, go for a walk, breathe fresh air. Being outside and breathing fresh air can help you disconnect from how you’re feeling and any concerns that you might be having. It also can help you relax and recharge.
Talk to a counsellor – having professional support through your pregnancy can be really helpful to work around any fears, stress or concerns you might be experiencing.
If you are interested in learning more about Mental Health in the Postpartum Period and getting a clearer picture of the differences between the Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression and how to know if that’s what you are experiencing, check out my blog post ‘Postpartum Depression – Is That What THIS IS?’
About the author: Mercedes is a Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator, Doula and mom of two girls. She’s based out of Nova Scotia and has been supporting growing families locally and internationally since 2014. You can learn more about the services she offers at All4Mommy.com.
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