When you’re pregnant, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. You’re not just dealing with the stresses of growing a baby. There are hormonal and physiological processes going on in your body that you can’t control.

Mood swings are one of the most common emotional side effects of pregnancy. You may be happy one second and sobbing hysterically the next. It’s confusing, scary, and completely typical.

Sometimes, the emotional side of being pregnant is too strong to push through. During those times, you need a way to cope that doesn’t depend on your willpower.

You’re not weak; you’re pregnant and dealing with a lot of triggers. When it all seems like it’s too much, try these coping strategies to get through.

1. Talk it Out

These changes are hard on your body and mind and can take a toll on your relationships. Long-term feelings of sadness or overwhelm may turn into depression and/or anxiety.

Knowing that what you’re feeling is an expected side effect is important, but it doesn’t always help to make you feel better. Sometimes, opening up to someone who understands what you’re going through eases loneliness.

If you don’t have a close friend or family member you can confide in, talk to your obstetrician. They have access to groups and counselors who specialize in caring for the emotional needs of pregnant women.

2. Get Active

Gentle exercise is vital at every stage of your pregnancy unless your doctor has told you otherwise. The more you move, the easier the discomfort is and the better shape you’ll be in overall.

Exercise is also beneficial for your mental health. Physical activity triggers your brain to produce chemicals like dopamine, the feel-good hormone.

Feel Like Wallowing? Move Instead

When things start to seem overwhelming, and all you want to do is curl up in bed, that’s when you need to force yourself to get moving.

Take a short walk outside. Fresh air is invigorating and almost always gives us a mood boost. Do some light spring cleaning, or head to the gym and walk on the treadmill. Blast the music and dance in your living room.

Yoga classes for pregnant women are offered in a lot of areas. Check into your local fitness centers or ask your doctor to point you in the right direction.

In short, do whatever it takes to get you out of bed and moving.

Depression and anxiety get worse when you lay in bed with nothing to distract you. Exercise is one of the top preferred treatments recommended by psychiatrists as a method of treating these disorders. As a bonus, staying in shape will help you through the physical parts of pregnancy, too.

3. Talk to Your Doctor About Medication

By now, you’ve probably read enough articles or seen videos warning against taking medicine while pregnant. Many of the concerns are valid, but there are also medications that are safe and effective.

You never want to start a vitamin, supplement, or medication without talking to your doctor first. Some “natural” products sound safe, yet, they can cause damage to the baby’s development.

Your Baby is Healthier When You Are Healthy

Your baby’s health depends on you taking care of yourself. If you’re overwhelmed, you’re probably not eating right, exercising, or sleeping healthy amounts.

There are medicinal options that, when monitored and used correctly, won’t harm your baby. In fact, nearly two decades of studies show that cannabis may be helpful when other methods fail.

Research continues regarding the effects of cannabis during pregnancy and postpartum. If this is something that you feel strongly about, talk to your doctor before consuming any CBD or THC products.

4. Connect With Others

Joining pregnancy groups isn’t simply a way to socialize. It’s a lifesaver for many expectant mothers.

The people who understand what you’re going through the most are also dealing with it themselves. No one is in your shoes. They won’t be able to “get you” completely. But they can empathize, offer support, and be a helping hand.

Some of the connections you make while you’re pregnant will continue to be important after you give birth. Your circle of new friends will make mistakes together, share successes, and cheer each other on as you all learn and grow.

Don’t talk yourself out of joining a group because you’re worried about what people there will think of you. They’re all just as nervous as you are, even if some hide it better than others.

Conclusion

Your mental health is a fragile thing, whether you’re pregnant or not. Pregnant women have the additional stress of dealing with hormones and physical reactions.

When it all seems overwhelming, you need something to push you through to the other side. These five coping strategies can make your pregnancy and postpartum period easier to handle.