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Looking after yourself in pregnancy

Just as there are a number of ways to look after yourself physically in pregnancy through diet and exercise for example, similarly there are ways that you can look after mentally and emotionally.

Here in addition to being aware of your expectations, it is useful to reflect on other factors in your life that may cause stress and/or have a negative impact. It can also be helpful to identify where and how you may be able to draw on positive aspects such as your support networks or other services to help you. This may include for example being aware of health professionals that you feel comfortable and confident to approach for information or advice, friends that you feel you can confide in and family, friends or services that you can draw on should you need additional support.

Another way that you can look after yourself in pregnancy is through being aware of changes your mood. Whilst we are often very aware of the physical changes that are occurring to our bodies, sometime we forget to focus on the impact that these changes can have on us mentally.

To do this, it is a good idea to learn about conditions like depression and anxiety that commonly occur in pregnancy. Learning about the common signs and symptoms can help you to identify what to look for and to speak with your health professional. Remember the faster you seek help, the greater the likelihood of having a quicker recovery.

Being well is not only best for you as you prepare to become a mum, but also for your growing baby and your partner.

For tips and strategies about staying well in pregnancy visit COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence