How to look after your emotional health during your pregnancy
- Talk to your midwife about any worries or anxieties you have during your pregnancy. Your midwife will ask you some questions about your emotional health at your first appointment. While this is a really good opportunity to talk, you are encouraged to share any concerns you may have at any point. Your midwife knows that it is very common to feel down or anxious and there's no need to be worried that they might judge you or won't understand how you're feeling.
- It's a good idea to attend an antenatal education course. For first time parents, Preparation for Birth and Beyond (PBB) courses are available at local Children's Centres. The programme involves six sessions before the birth and one after the baby is born. As well as preparing for the arrival of your baby, it's also a great way to meet parents in your area. Ask your midwife about how you can attend. There are also other courses available as well, talk to your midwife to find the right one for you. Baby Steps and Pregnancy in Mind, might be helpful if you are experiencing anxiety, depression or are worried about becoming a parent, and Leeds Teaching Hospitals offers a range of courses for parents-to-be. See our page Support for pregnant women and parents-to-be in Leeds for more details on courses.
This short film tells you what to expect at on a PBB course and how they can support you as a parent-to-be.
- Try to look after your general health - keeping active and taking some gentle exercise during your pregnancy can really boost your wellbeing. You can find your local leisure centre here on the Leeds City Council website. Exercise like swimming, walking or yoga (look for a pregnancy class or remember to tell your teacher that you are pregnant) can all be great forms of exercise. Leeds Let's Get Active is a city-wide programme which encourages people in Leeds to get more active. If you have any concerns, talk to your GP, before you start to exercise.
- Sleep well - you can find helpful information about sleeping safely here.
- Eat well - find information about how to eat well during pregnancy here.
- If you are a smoker - One You Leeds offers non-judgemental support to help pregnant women stop smoking.
- Cut out alcohol - you can find local advice and support about alcohol and pregnancy and information about the Leeds 'No thanks I'm pregnant' campaign here. The Department of Health has published new guidelines for pregnant women in advising that no level of alcohol is safe to drink in pregnancy. Also try sharing this link with your friends and family for some tips on how they can support you during your pregnancy.
- Take time to relax - try some different relaxation or breathing techniques.
- Be mindful - mindfulness is a technique which can help to bring our attention back from worrying, or thinking too much, to the present moment.