From ditching worries to imagining your future as a parent, get yourself into mum mode while you're pregnant
The signs you’re about to become a responsible parent can’t be denied - your bump is expanding week by week and your baby’s kicks are getting stronger. But it can be trickier to get your head around the prospect.
‘Getting mentally prepared for motherhood is a big step, and one that involves a steady series of changes throughout pregnancy and in the first few weeks of your baby’s life,’ says doula and psychologist Mia Scotland.
‘At times, you may be confident and excited, but it’s also normal to be worried, unsure, even in denial. It’s all part of the process of preparing for this change in your life.’
Get ready to move your mind-set to new mum.
Ditch the stress
Managing your finances, preparing to leave work or wondering if you’ll see your toes again – all can be big worries, but it’s important you stay calm.
A recent study found stress could hinder some of the brain benefits that occur in pregnancy, such as being better at multi-tasking.
‘Whenever you catch yourself feeling stressed, focus on yourself,’ says Mia. ‘Have a treat, such as a facial, massage or warm bath. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your baby, and will help you to adapt to motherhood.’
Know your stuff
Your body’s gone through lots of changes in the last few months and now, as you enter the last stretch of pregnancy, these will become even more apparent. Suddenly, it becomes clear that your expanding curves have a great function – to grow, then feed your baby.
‘These changes are happening so your body is prepared for birth and motherhood,’ says Mia. ‘Antenatal classes also provide information on the birth and teach you useful babycare skills, so you’ll feel more prepared for becoming a mum.’
Use your imagination
You may find it hard to connect your pregnant belly – even when it wriggles and hiccups – with the tiny, crying person you’ll soon have to care for.
‘Imagine yourself seeing, holding and cuddling your baby,’ says Mia.
‘Looking at your scan photos and cute baby videos online can help you visualise your new life. It can seem surreal that it’s really your baby inside you, but picturing yourself as a mum can speed up the adjustment process.’