Not all pregnant women revel in their pregnancy glow, smiling at everyone they see while skipping down the street.
For some women, pregnancy is something to be endured rather than enjoyed, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Going by a recent anonymous member question on the BellyBelly Facebook page, there are many women who feel the same way.
So why aren’t they talking about it? The stigma around pregnancy and being grateful is unhelpfully huge.
All pregnancies are unique, and while some women may love every second of their nine months, you may be finding it less than fun. This is normal, and rest assured that you are not alone in feeling this way.
If all the pregnant women around you seem joyous and excited, when you feel anything but, you may start to wonder whether there is something wrong with you. There isn’t. It’s understandable to feel less than excited about the haemorrhoids, swollen ankles and sore breasts. It’s hard to feel joyful about anything when you have your head in a toilet bowl for much of the day.
Here’s what some BellyBelly fans have had to say:
- “Don’t get me wrong I want my baby, I’m just not finding pregnancy to be the magical experience a lot of other women make it out to be.” — Anon
- “I’m 34 weeks pregnant and have been absolutely miserable the entire time. I think it’s normal to loathe pregnancy.” — Kelsey
- “My friends all loved being pregnant and it was the best experience of their lives. I have been sick most of the time and moody and tired and I just want the baby to be here and I am only at 20 weeks. Pregnancy is different for everyone and there is no right or wrong way to feel.” — Stephanie
What To Do When You’re Not Enjoying Pregnancy
Some women find pregnancy hard to like at times, and others may never really settle into loving being pregnant. If you find that you’re not enjoying pregnancy, you may find the following useful:
Tip #1: Be Honest
The reason you feel guilty and abnormal for not enjoying pregnancy, is because you think everyone else is revelling in theirs. In reality, they may be feeling the same way as you, but be putting on a brave face. Be honest about you feel, and when people ask how the pregnancy is going, tell them.
Tip #2: Talk About It
Having someone you can talk openly to can be invaluable. Talk to your partner, or a close friend or family member, about how you are feeling. Simply talking about this issue could help, and may help you to accept your feelings. You may also find that the person you confide in is able to offer reassurance and support for the rest of the pregnancy.
Tip #3: Don’t Feel Guilty
Some women find themselves feeling guilty for not enjoying pregnancy, and may even worry about whether they are cut out for motherhood if pregnancy is proving this difficult. It’s important to remember that you have nothing to feel guilty for, the feelings you are experiencing are normal. How you cope with pregnancy has nothing to do with the type of motherhood you will be. Just because you don’t relish throwing up mashed potatoes, doesn’t mean you are any less capable of loving your child.
Tip #4: Try Some Bonding Activities With Your Bump
If you’re struggling to bond with your bump, or if you want some ideas to feel a bit more warm and fuzzy, try BellyBelly’s 12 Ways To Bond With Your Baby. A little bit of connection may go a long way with how you feel.
Tip #5: Make New Friends
It’s unlikely that there is a ‘We Don’t Like Pregnancy Club’ in your local area, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find other women who feel the same way as you. Try being honest when people ask how you’re feeling, and you’re certain to stumble across a couple more mothers-to-be who are also finding the road to motherhood less than smooth. Having other people who feel the same way as you, and who understand what you are going through, may help you to feel ‘normal’. Online forums are a great place to look for support and friendship too.
Tip #6: Focus On The Finish Line
Remember, you didn’t get pregnant for the pregnancy. You weren’t excited for the mood swings, forgetfulness and heartburn when you read the positive pregnancy test. Pregnancy is simply the journey, and you may encounter bumps and potholes along the way, but eventually you will reach your destination, and will get to hold your tiny newborn in your arms. On tough days, focus on the little baby growing inside you, and try to remember that there is nothing wrong with not enjoying pregnancy.
Tip #7: Check Your Diet And Lifestyle Choices
Your gut is your second brain which contains most of your immune system and is involved with the production of happy hormones, so what you eat can affect your mood and daily enjoyment. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet which includes a range of veggies of all colours, protein, some fruit, omegas (oily fish, eggs etc), deep greens and whole grain foods (avoid processed or white foods like bread, flour, sugar, biscuits or cake). Drink plenty of fresh, filtered water and try to walk for 30 minutes a day where you can – it will lift your mood and help you to get a good dose of the all important vitamin D3.
Tip #8: Keep Connected With Your Partner
Disconnection and relationship issues can really take a toll during pregnancy and beyond. If you’re having relationship issues or just feel disconnected, then it might be well overdue to schedule regular quality talking time with your partner… and some professional help if you think you need it. A troublesome relationship can leave you concerned for your future and wondering if you’ve made the right decision to have a baby. Nip any relationship issues in the bud and you may notice a massive difference with how you feel about being pregnant. Check out our 10 Minute Relationship Rituals article for some inspiration.
When To Seek Help With Your Feelings During Pregnancy
There is nothing wrong with not enjoying pregnancy, but if you find yourself struggling to cope, you may need some extra help. If your less than joyous feelings towards pregnancy are accompanied by extreme fatigue, constant low moods and feelings of worthlessness, you should contact your healthcare provider for advice. Anxiety and prenatal depression are rare, but onset can occur during pregnancy. There are counsellors and psychologists that specialise in pre-natal health – it can be worth your while doing a little research and finding someone to help you who truly gets it.
Check out BellyBelly’s article on 8 Tips To Help Prevent Post Natal Depression to help boost your mood and reduce those down times.