Pregnancy is a sweetly difficult time for a woman. There is no other event in her life that is as emotionally and physically transforming as this. It comes with a mixed bag of feelings, ranging from joy of becoming a parent to the tensions regarding the baby’s health and upbringing. The anxiety is much higher, especially, if this is your first pregnancy. So, let’s take a walk through the emotional ups and downs, which you would experience during your pregnancy.
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Mixed bag of emotions during the first trimester
When you find out about your pregnancy, feelings of thrill and anxiety begin to unfold within you. Everyone gathers around to congratulate you, leaving you with a sweet and confused smile on your lips. As you try to come to terms with the news, everyone begins to give you their lists of dos and don’ts. Indeed, it is a good idea to seek advice from your elders.
The first trimester is also characterised by the thoughts of whether you can take care of your baby or not, and also with the fear of a miscarriage. Many women experience extreme mood swings, as well.
At one moment you may feel like crying, and at other you may be engulfed with a feeling of ecstasy. These mood swings are related to hormonal changes that are taking place in your body.
About the dramatic emotional outbursts, Dr. Shoshana Bennett, clinical psychologist and author of Pregnant on Prozac says, “It’ll all level out a bit during your second trimester, but the extreme moodiness could return with a vengeance toward the end of your third trimester.”
Nevertheless, as the news begins to sink in, you now feel the need to plan things according to this new development in your life. As you do so, your negative feelings and nightmares will begin to subside as well.
Moods and anxiety during the second trimester
The second trimester, though emotionally exhausting, will give you the heavenly joy of feeling your child’s movements (that first kick) in your belly. During this time, many women experience fatigue, morning sickness and dizziness. You may get a bit more moody and irritable. Along with all this, forgetfulness is also quite common.
Many women also feel a heightened craving for sex. This is quite natural. So, if you feel like cuddling with your partner more often during these months, then don’t hesitate to be in his arms.
Women even start putting on more weight and might not feel that beautiful. Some women, even feel, as if they have lost control over their bodies. But, fret not, you are not the only one experiencing it.
Melanie Strang, a doctor and a mother of two, says,"I found the transition so difficult. I was never diagnosed with depression, but I really struggled with feelings of isolation and I thought I was the only one going through all of this. It took some time to realise this was all normal." So, feel happy as these are just the signs that your baby is active and growing.
The second trimester is also the best time to plan things related to your delivery.
Endless questions during the third trimester
Now comes the time when feelings related to labour pains and delivery begin to circulate your mind. These will definitely make some of you anxious and nervous.
During the third trimester, would-be-mothers are advised to stay calm and relaxed. Don’t let the negative feelings impede the wonderful journey of motherhood.
Third trimester will also be the time for your baby shower or ‘godh bharai’. This will add some extra excitement to these concluding months, as your family and friends gather to shower you and your child with blessings and gifts.
During this phase, a woman seeks more care from her partner. Patience, adjustment and understanding will all be tested during this time. This is a phase that actually re-defines your love for each other.
As you move towards the final stage, one thing that will constantly strike in your mind would be 'giving birth would hurt'! Well, here is something positive, you can learn from another mother. Verity Lovelock says, “I honestly didn't find my labour a painful experience, the stronger my contractions got the less they were a problem, because it was a productive feeling. It was a step closer to my baby. As soon as it was over I thought, when can I do it again?"
Enjoy the journey
- Make appointments with yourself. Enjoy a prenatal massage, or just do things that make you happy.
- Always dress up well; being pregnant does not give you a licence to dress shabbily.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Keeping yourself busy will help squelch those negative thoughts before they even have the chance to crop up.
Pay regular visits to the doctor with your partner. Seeing your child gradually grow in your belly would certainly be one of the most emotional phases of your lives.