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Coping With the Unexpected in Pregnancy

Life has a way of keeping us on our toes. There are so many things in life and pregnancy that can come our way that feel completely unexpected and knock the wind right out of us. This can be exciting and also overwhelming. Are you finding yourself dealing with some expected changes or obstacles you did not foresee coming? Is it beginning to feel challenging to cope and impact your mood, increase worry, or bring on feelings of sadness? If so, you’re not alone.
Some common unexpected changes/situations in pregnancy could look like:

  • Body changes: weight gain, increased acne, darkening of skin, and stretch marks
  • Mood changes: increased sadness, worry, tearfulness, frustration, and lack of patience
  • Physical symptoms: nausea, increased tiredness/fatigue, morning sickness/vomiting, back pain, pelvic and hip pain, cramping, and constipation
  • Schedule changes: going to bed early/sleeping in, lack of energy or feeling sick causing you to miss social events/activities, and time off work for appointments
  • Increased worry: this could be due to lots of doctor visits, discussion of growth and development, concerns surrounding loss/miscarriage, unforeseen medical complications, concerns of perinatal and/or postpartum depression and anxiety, birth plans and delivery

Whether you’re already pregnancy, trying to conceive, in postpartum, or parenting- each phase comes with exciting and overwhelmingly unexpected changes. It can feel challenging to figure out how to navigate these unexpected stressors when we hadn’t prepared for them or even thought them possible. There are so many things that can happen in life that we are unable to prepare for, and yet we can still get through those challenges. Some helpful tools to cope could look like:

  • Gaining support from friends, family, and trusted individuals
  • Picking health care providers you trust that you can talk to about concerns and symptoms
  • Refraining from googling your symptoms or worries
  • Joining local pregnancy, postpartum, lactation, or parenting support groups
  • Becoming educated surrounding topics you are not as familiar with
  • Focusing on what is within your control instead of what isn’t
  • Minimizing rumination and “what if” thinking
  • Talking to a trained therapist or counselor who specializes in pregnancy and postpartum

If you are struggling to cope with the unexpected in your journey and wondering how to go about feeling more confident and in control of your experience, it may be time to talk to a licensed provider for additional support. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you feel supported and cope with whatever life is throwing your way.