So you’re pregnant. According to Hollywood and any other social media, you should be surrounded by an ever-radiant glow.
You should also have gorgeous black and white photos of your evenly curved belly, to go in your scrap book of your pregnancy week by week.
And of course, you should already feel at one with your baby and your role as a soon-to-be mother.
Oh wait, you don’t quite feel that way? Oh, right, the morning sickness has momentarily detracted from that radiant glow.
Oh, and now it feels like someone’s experimenting with karate from your insides.
And you have so many questions about what you’re meant to do, what to eat while you’re pregnant, and if you make the wrong choice your baby could come out wrong?
I’ve got good news: no, this does not mean you’re going to be a terrible mother!
Myths of pregnancy
Such myths of how pregnancy is meant to be or how you should feel are running riot! And you’re bound to be getting constantly bombarded by these messages, from movies, television, Google, Instagram, your partner, family, friends, and even total strangers.
That’s right, this stranger in the supermarket now feels they have the right to touch your belly, and advise that you probably shouldn’t be eating that soft cheese while pregnant.
My experience is my experience
I’m here to tell you that, well, they’re wrong. Whatever it is that you’re feeling about your pregnancy, that’s yours.
You may be tired, confused, sick, petrified, and have a million doubts about what to do, how you feel, what it’ll be like, how not to screw up your baby.
These are all perfectly natural feelings that you do not need to beat yourself up for having. Each person comes with an entirely unique collection of genetics, traits, and experiences throughout childhood and adulthood, all of which shape their experience of the present.
So is there hope?
But don’t worry, hope is not lost! You are not defective for having ill feelings or doubts, and this does not mean you will be a terrible mother.
Pregnancy is petrifying; it brings a whole new, foreign world to navigate.
Each of us inherits a roadmap to try and figure out this strange new terrain, but we can often be driving on autopilot.
To start uncovering your own map, it may helpful to think about what you learned in your childhood.
This often includes things we want to do the same as our parents, and things we want to do differently for our own child.
So, the first step to having more choice in how things actually turn out, comes from becoming more aware of our own individual roadmap.
Like with any new journey, it’s really important to recognise that this can be difficult to manage all alone, without someone there to help you read the map.
This is why it can be so helpful to have your own space and therapeutic support to decode your own roadmap.
This kind of support from a psychologist can also be helpful to make sense out of those worrying thoughts and emotions that are so common, yet so uncommonly talked about.
At Attuned Psychology, we are able to provide help with navigating this journey through pregnancy and beyond.
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