Emotional changes during pregnancy
It's not only your body that alters during pregnancy. Your emotions will change rapidly, too, and you'll experience feelings you've never had before.
It's the changes in hormone levels that are making your moods change so suddenly, making you weepy and sad one minute and on top of the world the next. On top of that we all occasionally feel anxious about how good we're going to be as parents. Your changing body shape can disturb your self-image, too. Emotionally, pregnancy can be very difficult.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
There are enormous changes in your body during pregnancy and, because of this, your mood is likely to change often. You might find yourself being hypercritical and irritable, you might have exaggerated reactions to minor events, you may feel unsure of yourself and panicky sometimes, and you may have bouts of depression and crying.
It's normal to go through all of these things because you're less in control of your feelings than usual. The swinging levels of hormones have taken over and are controlling your moods the way a conductor controls an orchestra. So don't feel guilty or ashamed if you show your irritation, anger, or frustration. If you explain what's happening, most people will understand. At work, you may have to struggle to keep up an appearance of calm. This effort will definitely pay off, especially if you plan to go back to your job after the birth of your baby.
Worries about pregnancy
However positive you are about your pregnancy, it's normal to have worries sometimes. One moment you're thrilled at the prospect of your new baby, the next you're feeling terrified of the new responsibilities to come. Becoming a parent is a time of reassessment and change, of worries and fears.
The first and most important thing you have to do is to accept your pregnancy. This may sound obvious, but there are some women who blithely sail through the early months of pregnancy giving it as little thought as possible, which is especially easy until the baby begins to show. You and the baby's father have to come to terms with the pregnancy and begin to think about the reality. Until now your thoughts about a baby and parenthood may always have been in soft focus, a pastel picture of a loving threesome.
Conflicting feelings are sure to surface once you begin to accept the realities to come. Don't worry - it's good to have conflicting feelings. It's normal to feel this way so don't feel bad about it. It means that you're genuinely coming to terms with the situation. You won't have the shock some people do, who wait to face all this when they bring their baby home.
Your changing shape
You might also be troubled by the changes in your body shape and might worry that you look unattractive. You may feel strange, even unrelated to the body in which you find yourself. Don't worry about your shape - a pregnant woman looks sensuous and beautiful. Thinking of pregnant women as fat, and therefore ugly, is essentially a Northern European attitude: many other cultures see pregnant women as sensuous and beautiful. Don't look at your increasing curves with despair, think of them as a reaffirmation of life. See your roundness as ripeness, and glory in your body's fertility. Feel confident and proud of your shape.
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