Pregnancy can feel miserable.
It seems like it is taboo for us to admit that sometimes pregnancy is uncomfortable, exhausting, and painful.
Admitting these feelings isn’t easy. You risk being called ungrateful or worse…feeling ungrateful.
- This post is for women who know that they are blessed to be pregnant but aren’t excited about nausea, pelvic pain, swollen breasts or ankles, or sciatica.
- This post is for women who are exhausted and maybe even a bit overwhelmed and struggling to make it 40 weeks.
If that is you right now, take a deep breath. Here are 7 tips to help manage pregnancy when the symptoms are causing you to feel miserable.
- 23 Thing You Can Do When Your Pregnancy Feels Unreal
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- How Much Does Childbirth Cost?: All My Birthing Expenses
- 30+ Mindful Pregnancy Journal Prompts
HOW TO DEAL WHEN PREGNANCY FEELS MISERABLE
1. ACKNOWLEDGE HOW YOU FEEL
Not feeling like a bubbly cheerleader every moment of your pregnancy is OK. It means you’re human. As humans, we have a tendency to resist negative emotions because they make us feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, “trying to push away your “bad” feelings actually intensifies them” (1).
So. For your own well-being, it’s necessary to embrace the negative emotions you are feeling as you would embrace your positive emotions.
What does that even mean?
It means you can believe things like:
- I’m not enjoying pregnancy right now and that’s okay.
- I’m not liking pregnancy right now but I’m pleased to have this child coming into the world soon.
These thoughts don’t need to be accompanied by guilt. If expressing these emotions verbally is uncomfortable, consider investing in a journal.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO THE SYMPTOMSNot everything about pregnancy hurts but pay attention to your aches and pains.
- Are the pains changing locations?
- Are the pains more intense in different positions?
- Do the pains come and go?
Listen to what your body is telling you and share all your symptoms with your birth workers (medical and non-medical). No detail is too small.
During pregnancy, our hormones are all over the place and there is potential for gestational diabetes, infections, and other serious conditions. You never want to dismiss any symptoms that could help with a diagnosis.
Sometimes, it helps to keep a pregnancy log or to jot down symptoms in a personal calendar, to keep up with when things are happening.
3. GIVE YOURSELF TLC
Once you have talked with your doctor and confirmed that the symptoms are normal or being monitored, give yourself the self-care you deserve.
What do I mean?
- If your feet hurt, consider getting a relaxing massage.
- Do what you can to make your home life relaxing.
- Avoid stressful people and situations.
- Get dressed up and go to your favorite restaurant.
Caring for yourself and your baby is the best thing you can do right now.
4. EAT WELL
If you are already feeling miserable, adding crappy food to your diet will likely lower your mood even more. You definitely don’t want that right now.
Eat well to feel well.
Try skipping the potato chips and fast food and choosing foods that nourish your body and your growing baby. If you need some inspiration, check out 3o+ nutrient-rich foods for pregnancy to get started.
Eating real food during my pregnancy helped give me the energy and stamina I needed to get through most of the fatigue. I quickly realized when I ate crappy, I felt crappy. Now, even after pregnancy, my food choices are very intentional and healthy (most of the time). 😉 If you think you need energy now, wait until you have a mobile baby/toddler!
5. FIND YOUR PREGNANCY SQUAD
Pregnancy can feel miserable and lonely if you don’t have a good support system.
Find the people in your life you can confide in. Make sure they aren’t the people who are quick to pass judgment and advice. Instead, find those people who are ready to listen and available to just be present when you need it most.
This squad can be made of up family, friends, co-workers, and whoever you want to include. Be selective.
I had my squad and all others were just spectators. Protecting my mind was just as important as protecting my body during my pregnancy.
6. CREATE A MUSIC PLAYLIST
You may be dealing with crazy hormonal swings but who doesn’t benefit from good music?
You may have heard about creating a playlist to help with labor, well… your pain didn’t wait for labor and you shouldn’t wait to enjoy a good music playlist.
Create several playlists that lift your move and get you feeling good or at least smiling.
7. GET SOME SUNSHINE
When you are pregnant, it is easy to be a homebody and hunker down in dim places.
Most often, we work indoors and then go straight home to the couch. Instead, make time to get some sunshine. Sunshine (vitamin D) can give a boost to your mood, even while you ache.
Being outdoors doesn’t mean you need to be doing a marathon. I was proud of my waddle to the mailbox and some minutes out on the porch or patio, during my third trimester. Every little bit counts.
I wrote this post to share that we are real women and we may struggle with several different symptoms that make us feel miserable. Sharing that we feel awful sometimes can put us at risk of being accused of being ungrateful for the opportunity to carry life and give birth but that isn’t the case at all!
If your pregnancy feels miserable at some point and you’ve consulted with your trusted birth workers and care provider to rule out serious complications, I hope these tips help bring some relief to your situation. Not being enchanted with every part of your pregnancy doesn’t make you a bad person.
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