Pregnancy can be an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful. Maintaining your well-being can aid in optimizing your baby’s health, bonding with your baby and continue positive relationships with those around you.
Different Elements of Well-being
Well-being is a difficult term to define as it relates to various aspects of life. Well-being is achieved through different elements:
- Physical. Includes lifestyle choices such as nutrition, physical activity and other behaviors.
- Emotional. Ability to cope with everyday life and the way we think about ourselves.
- Social. Sense of belonging and being included.
- Spiritual. Ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life. This can be through religion or being connected to our inner self or nature.
- Intellectual. Helps to expand our knowledge
- Economic. Is the ability to meet basic needs, and feel a sense of security.
Having a balance in all of these areas can be challenging, especially during and after pregnancy, but it isn’t impossible. Pregnancy can be a great opportunity to start and maintain overall well-being.
The economic element can cause stress and create imbalance in all of the other elements as a result.
- Illinois Department of Human Services’ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is made available for pregnant women. The service provides financial assistance to help pay for shelter, food, utilities and other expenses. If you qualify for TANF you could also receive medical assistance and SNAP benefits.
Make your health a priority during pregnancy. Creating life is a big responsibility and requires making the right choices for your baby’s health. Pregnancy is also about making the right health choices for your well-being. This can include:
- Being physically active
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs
- Eat healthy meals
- Rest when you need it
- Get adequate sleep
Making time for yourself can support your mental health. Self-care can take different forms and is not limited to only face masks and bubble baths. Below are other forms of self-care:
- Spend time with the people who make you feel good about yourself
- Baking, or cooking for enjoyment
- Taking some time to engage in activities that you enjoy
- Take a step back if you become overwhelmed
Tips for Parents
Being able to take your baby home after 9 months in the womb and delivery can be an exciting time. It can also be stressful, especially with the lack of sleep caring for your baby. The lack of sleep can cause stress and compromise your well-being. Below are some helpful tips manage lack of sleep:
- Catch up on sleep when you get the chance.
- Cut out or reduce caffeine. Caffeine is a great short-term solution to giving you energy, however they can affect your quality and duration of sleep in the long-term.
- Relax when you can! You don’t necessarily have to sleep when your baby sleeps during the day. Resting during this time can also benefit you.
- Share the workload with your partner if possible. Taking turns or shifts ensures that you both get adequate sleep.
- Take a time out when you are able to. Ask a friend, spouse, family member to stay with your baby for a while so you can relieve some stress. Taking time out can help your mental health in turn help your baby so you can be refreshed when you return.