Since learning of your unexpected pregnancy, have your stress levels been through the roof? Have you found yourself feeling overwhelmed by emotions like anxiety, frustration, excitement, or a confusing jumble of these? Have you been dealing with physical discomfort or already noticing changes in your body? Anyone who has received a positive pregnancy test knows how it can disrupt your life. Self-care is a practice that can help you cope with challenging circumstances of all kinds, including the variety of emotions that often accompany an unintended pregnancy. Self-care is beneficial for every person and every life season. But ironically, it tends to fall by the wayside during difficult times when we need it the most. We hope these tips will encourage you to keep on nurturing your body and mind throughout your pregnancy decision journey.
At Avenue Women’s Center, we recognize that unexpected pregnancy impacts every facet of a woman’s life- her body, her mental well-being, her spiritual beliefs, and her relationships, to name a few. Our pregnancy consultants are available to offer accurate information about your options and nonjudgmental support as you navigate this challenging time.
Reach out to us today to schedule a free and confidential pregnancy consultation!
Self-care is a broad concept that may require a little clarification. The National Institute of Mental Health aptly describes self-care as, “taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.” Self-care may serve as a tool to strengthen your physical and mental well-being so that you feel better equipped to make your pregnancy decisions from a calmer, clearer, and healthier perspective.
Nurturing the Body
The National Institute of Mental Health offers tips for maintaining physical self-care, including a few that are mentioned below. Notably, these guidelines are recommended in a general sense. During pregnancy, it is important to discuss your physical health with your doctor, who can help you identify a physical health routine that is right for your unique body.
- Exercise regularly. Again, your doctor can help you determine what kind of exercise and how much exercise is appropriate.
- Eat wholesome, well-balanced meals and drink plenty of water.
- Get the rest you need. Prioritize sleep and try to stick to a schedule.
- Establish care with a physician who can provide medical treatment related to your pregnancy. Even if you are still considering your options regarding your pregnancy, it’s helpful to monitor your overall health with a physician. Continue to check in with your doctor as often as recommended, and be sure to communicate with her or him regarding any questions or concerns.
Nurturing the Mind
Here are some suggestions, including a few from the National Institute of Mental Health. These general guidelines may help you cope with the overwhelming thoughts and feelings that often accompany an unexpected pregnancy.
- Consider trying a relaxation exercise. Examples might include meditation, muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, or journaling. A program or app may be useful in guiding you through these activities, which are intended to provide relief and help you focus on the present moment.
- Choose gratitude. It rarely feels natural during trying circumstances, but identifying and intentionally expressing thankfulness can have an incredibly positive impact on mood.
- Treat the senses. Go for a walk in the woods, being sure to notice the budding trees and lush, earthy aroma. Take a luxurious shower, enjoying the sensation of warm, falling water and the fragrance of lavender soap. Look for opportunities to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the lovely things that this world has to offer.
- Build healthy relationships. Relationships with partners, family members, and friends can be messy and complicated. So, “building healthy relationships” may sound easier said than done. However, a trustworthy loved one may be able to offer encouragement, hope, and insight to strengthen you on your pregnancy journey. If you feel as though you’re not getting the emotional support that you need, you’re not alone. Our pregnancy consultants at Avenue Women’s Center are here to listen.
Self-care of the body and mind are distinctive and are divided into separate categories for the sake of clarity. However, it is important to be mindful of the fact that physical and mental health are closely linked and greatly affect one another.
At Avenue, we’re here to ensure you never have to face an unexpected pregnancy without the tools and support that you need. In addition to providing information and referrals, our expert team can offer free limited medical services.
Reach out today to schedule an appointment at our Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, or Wood Dale, Illinois locations.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2021, April). Caring for Your Mental Health. Retrieved from: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.