Even when your pregnancy is planned, feeling unwell (whether physically or emotionally) can take its toll on your relationship. Talking things through with your partner about how you feel – and what can help – can be a a positive step and keep things constructive.
It’s not always your relationship with your partner that can be affected though; people meaning well – like friends or in-laws – can often say or do things during pregnancy which cause you unnecessary anxiety. People share their birth stories with you, without realising what they’re saying may not be helpful.
You may also find it harder to articulate to people, particularly during a time when they expect yout to be happy, that you’re feeling sad or stressed about being pregnant.
Keep the lines of communication open and talk to people who you know have your best interests at heart or will support you, regardless of how you feel. Even if you find people in your close circle understand, still speak to your doctor or midwife about what can help.
If you are the partner or loved one of someone who is pregnant and are concerned for their wellbeing, you can always ring NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 to talk through any worries you have for their wellbeing.
You can also take a look at these tips below:
- Take time to learn about how this person feels
- Offer to attend appointments (they may not want you to attend)
- Don’t assume you know what is wrong – ask questions to find out
- Refrain from unhelpful comments (like ‘pull your socks up’, ‘cheer up’ or suggesting you know what would make them feel better). Ask what would help instead. It may be they need someone to listen to their anxieties or help with practical things – picking other children up from school or doing the shopping so they can rest
- Don’t be distracted by what you believe is ‘normal’ in pregnancy – everyone is different; if you feel your loved one’s behaviour is causing concern have a chat with the doctor or midwife but, where possible, do this with your pregnant loved one present.
- The midwife may know of other people in your area who are experiencing similar feelings so may be able to help you create a support network locally which you can both attend.
Don’t forget you can also download a free electronic copy of the Guide to Ante-natal depression.