March 20, 2019
How to Cope When You Hate Being Pregnant
By: Cara Terreri, LCCE, CD(DONA) | 2 Comments
If you found this post, chances are you're not exactly feeling that "pregnancy glow." And here's the thing: it's ok. If you hate being pregnant, you're not alone and you're not doing anything wrong. Some people -- more people than you might think, in fact -- just don't like being pregnant. The physical sensations, the emotions, the extra attention, the unpredictability, the nausea -- pregnancy is a whole lot, and for a long period of time. So how can you move from a place of simply enduring pregnancy to coping with it? We have tips.
How to Cope with Hating Pregnancy
Acceptance, honesty, and letting go - They say that admitting there's a problem is the first step in fixing the problem. And while pregnancy isn't a problem to fix, admitting you hate being pregnant, along with letting go of any guilty feelings, helps you move into a place of acceptance. When you accept your feelings, it's easier to treat yourself with kindness, which leads us to...
The golden rule - What would you say and do for a good friend who was experiencing a rough pregnancy? My guess is you would show up with an outpouring of empathy, compassion, and cupcakes, or some other kind of equally delicious treat. Consider then, how you currently treat yourself during your pregnancy -- do you offer yourself the same kind of gentle kindness or do you hurl out insults and criticism? If your inner voice bends toward negativity and self-loathing, remind yourself that's no way to treat a good friend. Even saying things out loud -- as silly as it may feel -- impacts how you feel. Try saying things like, "things are hard right now; I'm here for you" and "it's ok to feel this way; we'll get through this."
Find your circle and meet regularly - Misery loves company isn't just a quaint phrase. You aren't the only one who feels the way you do about pregnancy and there's a whole lot of comfort to be found in relating to others who feel the same. Whether you find an in-person group or a virtual one, find people who understand and can empathize with you -- and connect with those people on a regular basis, and especially after a particularly tough day or moment.
Set your boundaries and keep 'em - Tell the people closest to you that you're having a difficult time with pregnancy and ask them to kindly refrain from comments, questions, and prodding. If they don't respect your requests, speak up -- and then, if possible, limit the time you spend around them.
Nourish, nurture, and indulge in yourself - Feed yourself nourishing and yummy food (the two may or may not be the same); care for yourself with good sleep and bodily movement; and indulge in the kinds of things that give you goosebumps -- a massage, pedicure, warm baths, good music, dark chocolate, etc. Now is not the time to deprive yourself (is there ever a time for that??).
Complain! "Venting" is called such because letting off steam really does relieve pressure. It's ok to spend time complaining about the way you feel. Doing so allows you to get it all out and move on. Find your people -- the ones with the most sympathetic ear and compassionate heart -- and ask permission for a venting sesh.
Seek help if it's too much - There's a difference between hating your pregnancy and having overwhelming feelings of sadness, isolation, worry, apathy, anxiety, etc. If you find yourself crossing that threshold, unable to pull yourself out from the depths on a regular basis, unable to function in a way that allows you to complete basic tasks and outings, you may have a perinatal mood disorder. Depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mood disorders can happen during pregnancy as well as postpartum. It's critical to seek professional help from a doctor to appropriately treat these disorders.
I'm not going to tell you that things will get easier/better the longer you're pregnant -- they likely won't and actually could feel worse. But following the tips above can help you cope better with your feelings -- and doing so can help you feel, well, less helpless.
TagsBirth Hate being pregnant