Your Changing Relationship with Yourself

Discovering you’re pregnant can catapult you into a new emotional world, where the relationship you have with yourself, may evolve in unexpected ways.

Finding out that you are pregnant will probably instil within you feelings of both excitement and anxiety, and even more so if it is your first baby. Some pregnancies are planned, some with more precision than others, and others may come as a complete surprise. Whatever your situation, this is one of life’s greatest journeys. For everyone, there is inevitable adjustment. The speed and ease of this transition depends largely on your attitudes and whether or not you have a sense of humour. If you are someone who embraces life’s challenges wholeheartedly and can giggle at your most embarrassing moments, it’s likely that pregnancy will be another fulfilling chapter.

If you are easily overwhelmed and take life too seriously, your journey may prove more testing than you envisaged. Everyone is different, however, most women emerge from the throes of motherhood more empowered and versatile as a person, hopefully with a sense of humour in tact.

Whether or not you are already a parent, the prospect of a nine-month-long pregnancy, culminating in labour, birth and a baby, can evoke every emotion imaginable. How you view yourself and your life will influence your behaviour. Pregnancy has a way of bringing you face to face with your own reality. It tests your self-confidence, values and enlightens you in ways unimaginable.

You are bound to have worries. This is normal. You may even wonder at times if your baby inside you is healthy and normal.
Much of this fear relates to subconscious feelings of inadequacy and the pressure of living up to other people’s expectations. Many women say they are haunted by bizarre and sometimes disturbing dreams about pregnancy and childbirth.

This is common although you may be comforted by the fact that most women who worry about complications do so unnecessarily. Statistics tell us that 90 per cent of women are able to have perfectly normal, uncomplicated labours and deliveries without assistance.

Anxiety, while distressing at times, can have a positive effect in encouraging you to explore new possibilities. Finding yourself in unfamiliar territory helps you to embrace the need for a fresh perspective. When you have a moment, think about what is really important to you. What concerns you most? Is it your changing body shape? Are you afraid that your sex life will suffer? Do you have financial concerns? Do your breasts leak? Or do you doubt your capabilities as a parent?

Airing your thoughts and anxieties with those close to you will invariably help the process of resolving them. Antenatal classes can be good forums for sharing concerns with those who are probably going through exactly the same emotions. When you are feeling low, take a step back and consider all the positive aspects in your life. Compile a list of all those things that make you happy. On this list, celebrate the fact that you are creating a life. Believe that your baby is receiving all the nourishment and love it needs and know that you are capable of bringing this child safely into your world.

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