Adjusting to change
'Will I lose my independence?’ ‘How will I figure things out at work?’ ‘What sort of parent will I be?’ If you’re asking yourself these and other questions, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
It’s really common for both parents to experience a wide range of emotions during pregnancy, from joy and excitement to fear and worry. Negotiating new working arrangements, added responsibilities and preparing for a different financial situation can all make this a complicated and potentially stressful time.
You might feel a pang of uncertainty when you think about how your relationships or lifestyle might change with the baby’s arrival. These mixed emotions and doubts are normal, as are occasional negative thoughts or dreams – it doesn’t mean the baby is unwanted or that you’re not ready.
Pregnancy can also be a time when you reevaluate what’s important in your life or reflect on your relationship with your own parents. You might find yourself dealing with unresolved issues or feelings from your childhood that you’ve buried away.
If you’ve experienced historical or intergenerational trauma as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, having kids of your own can be a time when these challenges become even stronger and harder to deal with.
All of this can make for an emotional time. Go easy on yourself – it can be a lot to deal with – and take extra care of your physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing.
Common concerns you might have during pregnancy may include:
- Is this the right time for me to have a baby?
- Will I/we be good parents?
- Can I/we afford a child?
- How will I cope with childbirth?
- Will I have a healthy baby?
- What will it be like to have a baby?
- How will I/we cope with twins?
- How will this affect our relationship and lifestyle?
For women, having to change your diet, starting to look different, craving certain types of food, becoming tired more easily, feeling uncomfortable and nauseous are some of the often-talked-about changes pregnancy can bring – and some of the more obvious. These physical changes can have a big impact on your mood and feelings about being pregnant. Many of these symptoms and feelings resolve themselves in the second trimester.