Pregnancy: Not a cakewalk - Counselors Pregnancy: Not a cakewalk - Counselors

Pregnancy: Not a cakewalk

Girls grow up dreaming that pregnancy is going to be one of the biggest high points in their lives. The reality is many women just don’t feel good, especially during the early months. Some women have good weeks and bad weeks, right up to their due dates, and their physical and mental wellbeing might flip back and forth on an hourly basis. If you’re feeling “blah” about pregnancy, don’t worry – you aren’t alone!

The pregnancy was a surprise

More than half of all pregnancies are unplanned. It’s reasonable that a woman who was surprised by a pregnancy might be anxious, sad, or downright angry about it.

Surprise pregnancies can be incredibly stressful for families. Some common concerns include:

 If you find yourself surprised by a pregnancy, ask for help in connecting to resources that can offer solutions for your concerns.

  • Financial worries: How will we afford diapers? What about childcare? Will I be able to keep my job?
  • Plans: I just sent my youngest off to kindergarten … or college.
  • Relationship dynamics: How will my partner react? How will pregnancy affect my sex life? What will my older children think?

You’re Disappointed

Maybe you desperately wanted a girl and learned you’re carrying a boy—or vice versa. Gender disappointment can be a source of sadness and anxiety for some moms, even when they know deep down that the most important thing is incubating a healthy baby.

Or maybe you were excited to find out you were expecting—but soon learned you were carrying not one but two (or more!) babies. “Many families who don’t have a long history of twins are often shocked by that second heartbeat during that very first sonogram,”

You’re Super-Anxious

Anxiety can take over, big-time, during pregnancy—especially if you’re expecting for the first time or are in a high-risk category. Besides being a general head-trip, knowing there’s an actual human being growing inside of you can contribute to exactly the kind of stress that mamas-to-be are told to avoid. 

You Miss All the Off-Limits Stuff

In short, when you’re pregnant, there are a lot of things you’re not supposed to do, from consuming alcohol to luxuriating in a super-hot bath, And for some people, that can limit the thrill of the experience – and even cause resentment to build up. That’s logical and normal!

People Can Be Mean

What is it about a pregnant woman that makes people forget their manners? It’s never okay to gawk at a woman’s size, or shame her for it—but pregnant women know from experience it happens all the time. And it can be demoralizing, humiliating, or just plain maddening.

Pregnancy Side Effects

It’s hard to enjoy being pregnant if you feel nauseous all the time Beyond that, pregnancy comes with a zillion aches, pains, and unfamiliar symptoms. Gas, constipation, back pain, swollen ankles, growing feet, acid reflux, the constant need to pee – and on and on. The baby is worth it, of course, but that doesn’t make the day-to-day experience any less difficult.

Advice for expecting women who aren’t loving pregnancy

First, recognize your emotions. It’s perfectly fine to not always be a happy camper about pregnancy. Just because society says you should be around, the glowing goddess doesn’t mean you have to feel that way – physically or emotionally. Talk to your doctor about ways to enjoy your hobbies, even if you have to modify them. You might even uncover new interests you never would have considered if not for your newfound free time.

Second, don’t compare your feelings or your pregnancy to the experiences of others. It’s totally fine that your biggest enjoyment of the third trimester is that the pregnancy is almost over! Truth be told, if you meet a 39-weeks-pregnant woman who says she hasn’t once uttered, “Get this baby out of me,” she’s probably fibbing.

Third, set reasonable expectations for yourself during pregnancy. You’ll likely be more tired and rounder. As long as negative thoughts aren’t taking over your life, it’s normal to be a little grouchy from time to time if pregnancy isn’t fun for you.

And reasonable expectations pertain to body image as well. Don’t assume you should look like the pregnant celebrities who have personal trainers and chefs in their employ. It might be wise to avoid magazines, social channels, and websites that promote these types of scenarios and images during your pregnancy. One small study suggests that women who use Facebook during pregnancy might have more trouble with body self-image during pregnancy than women who don’t.


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