Pregnancy/Maternity

Pregnancy is not living up to your expectations?

Before getting pregnant, you dreamed of a pregnancy like the ones they show us in movies. You would be dazzling and feel on cloud nine. When reality sets in, you feel disillusioned.

The dream of a perfect pregnancy

Around the world, women tend to idealize pregnancy. We dream of finally having a beautiful belly to cherish, and we are certain that once life is growing inside us, we won’t be able to help but to feel a sense of fullness and that we’ll spend those nine months radiant and glowing. This is what the movies and books promise us after all! The image of a pregnant woman is so glorified that when reality sets in, we can feel completely disillusioned and a little (or a lot!) disappointed not to experience those magical moments you expected.

Physical and hormonal changes

Although we know our body will change during pregnancy, most of us don’t really dwell on the details preferring instead to daydream about this little baby we’ve created. However, pregnancy isn’t easy, even Kim Kardashian reveals that she finds it difficult to become pregnant and to experience all those physical and hormonal changes.

This beautiful belly you thought was going to represent your happiness now becomes the main culprit behind all your aching muscles and clumsiness. Some women may even feel overweight or deformed, not to mention the stretch marks that invade your body at the same rate as your belly is growing.

All these physical and hormonal changes can cause a number of unwanted effects like morning sickness (which really should be called all day sickness), heartburn, extreme fatigue, generalized pain and discomfort, feeling like your body is not longer yours, not to mention a tsunami of unpredictable emotions, courtesy of the pregnancy hormones! What an explosive cocktail!

According to the Canadian Public Health Association, doctors believed for decades that the hormones of pregnancy protected women against depression. This belief confirmed the social myth that dictated that « every pregnant woman is happy because she is giving life ». It was only in the late 70s and during the 80s that the researchers realized that many of the women that were depressed after birth had already been depressed during pregnancy. Today, it is estimated that 10 % of pregnant women suffer from depression.
 
What can you do?

You feel like you have no other choice but to put yourself in « survival mode » and endure the next nine months as best as you can? Rest assured, there are a lot of little things you can do to regain perspective until your baby is in your arms.

  • When we’re tired, we tend to focus on the negative. Take time to enjoy the little pleasures and try to minimize your reaction to the discomfort. Avoid realistic expectations that contribute to your disappointment. That will also be helpful after birth as those emotions don’t always disappear after pregnancy.
  • Don’t let your fears and worries accumulate in silence. Confide in loved ones or write your feelings in a diary to clear your thoughts.
  • If you can, take time off of work to relax or to have time to plan everything you need for the birth and for your life with baby.
  • Take advantage of those last moments alone and with your partner, discuss your plans, dreams and hopes for the future.
  • Avoid doing exhaustive research of all your symptoms online, since it’s the best way to convince yourself you’ve got all the pregnancy problems on earth! Trust your doctor and prepare a list of questions before your appointment, so he can reassure you.
  • If you feel really anxious, use stress management techniques like meditation or yoga. You may also enjoy getting a massage for pregnant women. After all, you deserve it!
  • If you have trouble sleeping, you can read our article Pregnant and can’t sleep to help you determine the cause and get some tips on how to resolve the problem.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and incorporate vegetables, fruits, and foods rich in vitamins and make sure you stay well hydrated. Your diet will affect your energy level, which will help you feel better physically and emotionally. Be careful to avoid foods that can cause heartburn!
  • Stay active! If you stay inactive, you may increase your physical discomfort and it will also have a negative effect on your mood. In addition, exercise releases endorphins in our body and these endorphins help us combat fatigue, lethargy and sleep disorders.
  • Get tips to fight nausea in our article 12 tips to fight nausea.

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