Coping with the Psychological Effects of Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on August 14, 2012

Pregnancy can be extremely taxing on women because the body goes through a multitude of changes and not all of them are pleasant. The psychological effects of pregnancy are closely related to the changes that the body goes through and these include issues with the way one's body alters, problems of self-esteem, the lack of control over one's body, depression and a feeling of emotional liability. Happiness, anxiety, confusion and depression can keep alternating because of the woman's hormone levels which fluctuate continuously.

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The mood swings as well as general irritability are likely to run their course during pregnancy and remain for sometime after the child has been delivered. The psychological effects of pregnancy can primarily be dealt with by understanding that these changes are normal and the mother to be must be given adequate support during this period. Keeping the house spotless, cooking and taking care of one's older children can be extremely difficult and the mother to be will need help from the house to take over these responsibilities. If the partner is not available other family members, friends and relatives could pitch in to help. It is important to eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meat to ensure that both mother and child have enough energy to go through the nine months.

House visits and home visits from well meaning family and friends can on occasion tire the mother out and it is alright to set limits for visiting. After the delivery in the hospital, it is best to limit the number of visitors lest they tire the mother physically. The emotional toll after these visits is also to be taken into consideration. A lot of the psychological effects of pregnancy are also related to the lack of sleep. And the best way to deal with this is to sleep when the baby sleeps. It is likely that you will want to complete household chores when the baby is asleep, but this will drain you of energy and hamper the body's ability to produce enough milk for the child. Hence, it is important that you sleep whenever you can. A lot of the pressure post pregnancy has to do with getting back into shape and this may become a nagging worry. Weight loss cannot happen overnight and it will take between nine months to a year for your body to change back. The changes must occur gradually lest it drain the mother both physically as well as emotionally.

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