Tips for staying positive during pregnancy
Updated: May 5, 2020
Prior to becoming pregnant, I heard so many horror stories about how “terrible” pregnancy is. You know the usual, “I didn’t stop puking”, “Argh the heartburn”, “Pregnancy sucks!” statements you hear. It really doesn’t entice anyone to want to get pregnant.
So when I got pregnant… well, I was kind of in denial I was even pregnant at the beginning… because I felt the same…. I had NO morning sickness and none of these other terrible things you hear people say.
In fact, I felt my best during my pregnancy. It's like it just agreed with my body. I felt so beautiful as my bump started to grow. I remember always wanting to touch my bump and just rub it because it just felt right and comforting. I didn’t get sick once during pregnancy, no vomiting and no colds or flu. I mean I was working in an office with hundreds of people, it was in the middle of winter and I didn’t get sick. People were dropping off like flies all around me at work, and my immune system was just so strong. I feel like my body was in a fight response, and it was just working so hard to keep me and my baby safe.
Another colleague was pregnant at the same time as me, and she was having a hard time. She would often make statements about how horrible pregnancy is and I would just stare blankly with no response.
Because often when you hear about how much of a hard time other people have, you feel like you can’t say anything about how positive your experience is.
So maybe this is why the negative experiences outweigh the positive. You really don’t hear about many people who truly love being pregnant. I remember tuning in to Keeping Up With the Kardashians on TV (don’t judge me) and watching Kourtney gush about how she loves being pregnant and thinking “wow, there is someone else out there who feels their best during pregnancy”, and this made me feel so normal like I wasn’t an alien.
I'm naturally an anxious person, I always do my research with everything I delve into. But with my pregnancy, something washed over me, a sense of calmness and hope that everything would turn out fine. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there was a bit of worry deep down inside “what if the baby is not healthy?” “what if I miscarry?” and various other questions.
I was able to put this aside and focus on the beauty of being pregnant. I trusted my obstetrician, so when he gave me answers to my questions I didn’t go and cross check what he told me with Google. I trusted that he was the expert in his field, and I knew if I started putting weight in other opinions it would only make me a wreck.
My aim was to stay calm as possible, as I felt this positivity would then rub off on my baby as she would feel secure and loved. I also took pregnancy yoga classes which were really amazing as they helped me centre myself, remain calm and connect with my baby.
I tried to prepare as much as possible for the birth and even after the birth. I attended all the classes like birthing and newborn classes run by the hospital, Calm Birth and a breastfeeding class run by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (because I always knew I wanted to breastfeed, read about my breastfeeding journey here).
I needed to gather as much information as possible from reputable sources to prepare me, although you can never be fully prepared, right? I wasn’t going to get my information from family members and random people from the internet. Sure, hearing about other people’s experiences is fine, but let’s be real, a lot of people are misinformed and not experts.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, when most women are wanting to hurry their baby out, I remember feeling sad thinking “I don’t want this to end, I am going to miss my baby bump! Please stay in me as long as possible little one!”.
In fact, I loved my bump so much I just had to go and get professional photos taken. Previously you would have never seen me in lingerie or strip down to my underwear for some stranger to take photos of me. But I just felt so much more comfortable in my own skin during my pregnancy.
I didn’t care if I was a few kilos heavier, I felt amazing and I wanted to capture it. So, when I look back at the photos I remember how amazing I felt. And when my daughter grows up, I can show her in photos how much I loved her before I even met her.
I’ve only been pregnant once, so who knows maybe my next pregnancy will be totally different. But right now, I feel safe to say that pregnancy is the most beautiful and natural thing in the world, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I encourage other women to share their positive pregnancy stories, so we can support others on their journey.
My 20 tips for staying positive during pregnancy
Stop Googling every symptom! Put that phone away, Googling everything can contribute to making you anxious and overthink things. If you feel unsure about something ask your healthcare provider.
Prioritise your health. Make time to go for that walk, eat well, get lots of rest and drink lots of water.
Avoid the online pregnancy forums. Reading about other people’s bad experiences can just mess with your head sometimes.
Stop comparing your progress to someone else’s! Just because your bump is small doesn’t mean your baby isn’t thriving.
Connect with your bump. Express love and affection. Talk to it, sing to it, and touch it. Your baby will feel your love long before she is born.
Have someone you can talk to about your emotions. Whether it is your partner or friend. Don’t be afraid to turn to others for support.
Be proud of your body, it is doing something amazing! Show off that baby bump, don’t hide it. Wear that bikini and let that belly pop.
Stay calm and carry on. Hormones can run high, so when you feel like you are going to explode, take a deep breath and remove yourself from the situation so you can calm down. If you need to speak with a friend or partner to help you, do it.
Avoid stress. If you feel stressed at work, just remember that the most important thing is you and your baby's well-being. If you need to take a day off work to re-coupe don't feel guilty, or if you need to change jobs or departments to be in a better environment, do it.
If you are not happy with your healthcare provider don’t be afraid to look for a new one. Do your research, and if you don’t feel confident with the person who is supposed to be looking after you during this important part of your life, find someone else.
Only be around positive people. Your mental health is of utmost priority. If that childhood friend isn’t supporting you during this important moment in your life, you might need to consider cutting strings (as difficult as that may be!).
Brush off comments from strangers. People often don’t know what to say to a pregnant woman, and can often say insensitive things. Just ignore any unwanted remarks and go on with your day (they don’t know any better).
Take lots of photos, because you will miss this moment. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your partner or friend to take photos of you.
Don’t feel bad declining events or invitations. Now is not the time to be going to that work colleagues party if you feel extra tired (listen to your body). And trust me, you have the perfect excuse not to.
Celebrate your bump with a glamorous pregnancy photo shoot. Get your hair and makeup done and hire a professional photographer to capture this beautiful moment. You will have amazing photos to cherish and show your children.
Say positive affirmations daily. Don’t let the negative overshadow the positive. Identifying true statements and repeating them to yourself daily can help reduce stress, improve general well-being through relaxation and your outlook on life, and can dramatically shift your mood and the way you see things.
Practice relaxation techniques. Take yoga or meditation classes to help you learn breathing techniques. There are also lots of pregnancy friendly yoga classes out there to help you connect with your bump.
Think of the future. If you have been having a hard time during your pregnancy, keep reminding yourself that you will be soon holding a beautiful baby that will change your life for the better. Planning for the future can often get your mind off the present. Research newborn baby photographers, nursery styling, and anything that will get your mind off any negative thoughts.
Seek help. If you feel like things are getting too overwhelming talk to your healthcare provider to help you alleviate any concerns. Speaking to a qualified professional can help you shift your mindset and get through it.