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Getting ready to have a baby can be both exciting and scary. The flood of new emotions and experiences can feel overwhelming. Many people aren’t used to these highs and lows so can often feel anxious during this time. It’s important to pay attention to your mental health when pregnant, so we’ve put together some tips to help you cope. 

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Understanding your mental health

Looking after your mental wellbeing isn’t just important for you, it's important for your baby too. They might just be a tiny wee thing, but they can pick up on your stress during pregnancy.

It's normal to have some questions or concerns during your pregnancy, and to feel overwhelmed or emotional at times. But unfortunately, depression and anxiety are not unusual for soon-to-be mums, including among women who’ve not had any issues with their mental health before. So if you’re feeling low, upset or anxious, remember that you’re not alone and that there is a lot of support available for you. 

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Tips for your mental health

Tip #1: Talk about your feelings

Speak to your partner or talk to your friends and family about how you feel. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Talking through your worries can help a great deal.

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Tip #2: Rest

Image of a woman sitting on a sofa reading a newspaper.

Whilst you are preparing to give birth, it's important to get as much rest as you can. This might be easier said than done, but try to take advantage of breaks where possible, or let your partner help if they are at home with you.

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Tip #3: Take it a day at a time

Try and focus on the here and now. Each day is exciting enough when you’re preparing for life with a baby. Don’t worry too much about the future and things you can’t control. Maybe keep the news to a minimum, stick to trusted news sources and maybe just check them once a day. Social media can be a great way of finding positive stories and can be a way to access peer support.

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Tip #4: Take some time out

If you can, set aside a short time each day where you can get away from noise and distractions and be calm and peaceful. You could try some breathing exercises, or just sit quietly cradling your bump. This video from Tiny Happy People shows you how.

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Tip #5: Don't take on too much

Don’t feel guilty about shelving things that aren’t that important. Do you really need to repaint that room? Will your friend really mind if you don’t go for the whole of her hen party? Being pregnant is the perfect excuse to take things a bit easy.

You can find more tips like this to help with mental wellbeing on the Tiny Happy People website.

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Advice for dads and partners

This can be an emotional time for you too and you may feel worried about how you will deal with becoming a parent. Here are some tips to help. You can find more on the Father's Network Scotland website.

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Look for support

Remember that you’re not alone – all of us struggle from time to time. Talk to your midwife or GP if you’re finding it all a bit much.

There are lot of other ways to find support for your mental health. A directory of third sector services supporting mental health for women, babies and their families can be found here and there’s also help and advice on the Ready Steady Baby website.

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