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Pregnancy emotions: ‘survival’ guide
 
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Emotional guide – weeks 1 to 13

These first weeks are possibly the worst when it comes to emotions: you can go from laughter to tears in three seconds flat.

“Why do I feel the way I do?”

Emotions – weeks 1 to 13
© Thinkstock

Until the 5th week of pregnancy, you’re waiting to see if you’ll get your period and you may be feeling sad (you don’t yet that know you’re pregnant). This reaction is caused by 3 hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). These hormones will cause fatigue, nausea and frequent visits to the bathroom.

These hormones alone can make the future mother feel washed out psychologically. What is more, over and above this hormonal revolution the physical symptoms relating to pregnancy can make some women unhappy because they feel unattractive.

To help you feel better, use the following guide:

Emotional action plan for the 1st trimester

1.  Confide in someone, especially your partner. Talk about your fears and the exact feelings you are experiencing. If you are finding it difficult to accept your pregnancy or you feel constantly exhausted, weak and/or discouraged, consult a psychologist or your gynaecologist.

2.  Eat foods that are rich in vitamins B2, B6 and zinc. These nutrients help to balance hormones, which will reduce nausea and sharp mood changes. Also eat bread, wholegrain rice and potatoes. Eat little but often, nausea is often more noticeable when blood sugar levels rise significantly.

3.  Get enough rest. Nausea is intensified by fatigue. If you already have another young child, make the most of your little one’s naptime to rest too.

4.  Do some exercise. Moderate physical activity reinforces energy and improves circulation. Yoga is perfect for this as it balances both mind and body, relieves nausea and repels depression.

5.  Use aromatherapy. Essential oils of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, orange or grape help to relieve nausea; lavender helps sleep; chamomile and sandalwood effectively combat anxiety.

It is not recommended to use essential oils at the very beginning of pregnancy, but you can always ask your partner to give you a massage with sweet almond oil. Important: it is recommened that certain essential oils NOT be used during pregnancy: basil, cedarwood, cinnamon, clary sage (ok during labour), clove, cypress (ok after 5 months), fennel, hyssop, jasmine (OK during labour), juniper, lemongrass, myrrh, parsley, pennyroyal, peppermint, rosemary, sweet marjoram, thyme.

Posted 18.01.2011

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