Helping yourself

Helping yourself when you’re pregnant

Here are some ways that you can look after your emotions while you’re expecting a baby:

  • Don’t expect too much of yourself – make time to slow down, rest and relax.
  • If you have a partner, talk about the difference a baby will make to your lives.
  • Extend your support network – other expectant parents can be a valuable resource.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you visit your GP, obstetrician or midwife.
  • Be selective in what you read – some websites and articles might only make you feel worse. Look at who is writing it. Can you trust the source of the information?
  • Be aware of changes from how you normally feel. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Sharing your concerns can be really helpful.
  • If your emotions are starting to interrupt your everyday life, talk to your GP, obstetrician or midwife – the earlier the better.

Helping yourself prepare for parenthood

Here are some ways to look after your emotional health as you prepare for parenthood:

  • Remember that you can’t prepare for everything some things are simply beyond our control.
  • Try not to plan major life changes – moving house, changing jobs – for late in pregnancy or in the first few months after you have your baby.
  • Asking for and accepting help – even before you really need it – can make the transition to parenthood less stressful.
  • Set up extra support for the first few weeks after the birth, and longer if you are expecting more than one baby. For example, arrange for both you and your partner to be at home for the first week or two.
  • Plan to have additional support in the first few months by asking your partner, family member or friend to be on hand to help.
  • Develop a support system of friends, family and/or health professionals, including parent groups, that give you the opportunity to share stories and experiences and meet new people who are in a similar situation.