This Weekend has made me feel as though everything is becoming very real very soon now. I had a lovely baby shower thrown for me by my wonderful friends and family and had the best time giggling, laughing and talking about this little miracle to be. It really made me reflect on the journey of pregnancy so far.
This pregnancy hasn’t been easy; I’m not going to lie. I have kept saying to myself ‘pregnancy is not an illness, pregnancy is not an illness’ and ‘I am lucky to be pregnant’ over and over again but it hasn’t stopped the common symptoms from being at the forefront. From really bad morning sickness and weight loss, to extreme fatigue and tiredness in the first trimester which impacted on a lot of my daily life: To SPD, back pain, frequent tightenings and now acid reflux which is making me feel sick and exhausted again, this little one certainly feels as though she is draining me of my health.
But Saturday’s baby shower reminded me of how happy I am to be expecting a baby and to become a mother. I am under no illusion that it won’t be without it’s challenges, it’s difficulties and it’s dark days but I have a huge support network around me to pick me up if and when I need it. It takes a community to raise a baby and this weekend’s baby shower showed me the community of people I have surrounding me, who are going to love and cherish this baby and who will be there whenever and whatever it is I need. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a phone call to have a rant, someone to meet for coffee and cake, or just five minutes to take time for myself I have such a huge support network which makes me feel really positive about motherhood.
With 1:10 women suffering with Postnatal depression and 1:7 having postnatal anxiety post birth, I am already starting to prepare myself ready to prevent this from happening. I have already decided that one evening a week I will take an hour to myself to have a nice warm bubble bath whilst my lovely partner cuddles our little one. I will meet with a friend for coffee and a rant once a week. I will call someone if I need to have a good cry. I have looked into some local mum and baby groups to help get me out the house once in a while. I have said that aside from our parents and siblings there will be no visitors from anyone else in the first couple of weeks until we are ready to maximise the amount of sleep and time that we have as just the three (four if you count our dog) of us. I will put both myself and our little one first and foremost for the benefit of both of our wellbeing.
Make your post natal plan during your pregnancy to reduce and prevent postnatal depression and anxiety. Reflect on what works for you for your own current wellbeing. Make an individualised plan for you and communicate what you need postnatally with your partner so they can provide you the support you need. Talk to your friends and family already to get them on board in supporting you the best that they can. You are not alone. You can be supported. There is help available if you need it. Finding your tribe of support networks is essential to raising your little one. Believe in yourself and your Instincts. You can do this Mamma!