At some point in your pregnancy — or perhaps at many points — you're just going to be over it. The aches will have become too much, you'll have thrown up one too many times, you cut yourself shaving because you can't see your ankles. It can be hard to keep a smile on your face when you really just want to cuddle up with a weighted blanket and escape from the world — and sometimes, that's OK. But when you need to get on with your day, what do you do? Learning how to stay positive during pregnancy can mean the difference between a good day and a crap day.
There were moments in my pregnancy when I just wanted to throw a shoe at my husband's head, scream at the cab driver, and compose lyrical poetry explaining how being a woman and bearing children is the worst sort of evolutionary joke. Somehow, my husband remained unharmed, my cab drivers unassailed, and much to everyone's benefit, no poetry was written. I found tricks, mantras, and means of coping which helped me gain enough positivity that I could at least make it until the next day, and the day after that. I realized that it took real work to stay positive, and that it wasn't a one and done, but more a constant struggle for change.
It should be noted that there is a real difference between being run of the mill angry and irritated during pregnancy, and experiencing true antenatal depression, which the Washington Post reported as one of the most severe forms of pregnancy-related mood disorders. It's often brushed aside as hormones, and women feel a particular guilt about it because they are experiencing depression during a period when they're expected to be fighting off round after round of joy. A merely moody pregnancy that is not, and if you feel like yours is overwhelming you, please talk to your doctor.
I spoke with wellness expert, doula, and author of the upcoming parenting book, Managing the Motherload (Hay House, August 2019) Rebekah Borucki, and asked the mother of five how to stay positive during pregnancy. One of the first things to consider, she tells Romper is that there may be more influence coming from outside sources than you think. Borucki notes that one way to avoid this chatter and stay positive is by "Steering clear of too much general social media-based advice groups and forums. The mom-shaming looms large there." Think about it: How many times have you read a post and then the comments are 100 percent pregnancy or mom shaming? Probably pretty often. Staying away helps keep those thoughts out of your head.
But that's only one step, even if it's huge. Borucki says that you should also be "Creating a circle of support populated by women you know and trust and who are invested in your emotional health (close friends, family members)." These are your rock, and when you need the pick me up, a note of positivity, you have someone who has your back, ready to support you.
Another point to keep in mind? Before you get wrapped up in something that might sap the positivity right out of you, Borucki says to reconsider how important it is to you. "How attached are you to the answer?" she asks. You might need to reevaluate your plans for that day if it feels like something that could be really dragging.
I won't tell you just to "buck up, and look at the bright side." Because that's garbage advice. Sometimes, being pregnant is a lesson in frustration, and you just need a moment to figure it all out — or to breathe. Meditation, walking, engaging with those you love can all be ways to stay positive during pregnancy, but as Borucki points out, it's just as much about keeping yourself out of those situations which tend to drag the hardest. After all, even if it's a finite period of time, it can feel like it lasts forever if you're not able to escape the negative mindset. Of course, pregnancy is also a finite period of time, but one during which your health and well-being is of the utmost importance.