Pregnancy can be a stressful period for even the most relaxed mothers-to-be, as it is a time of tremendous change.
These are some common reasons you might be feeling stressed out:
Most of these reasons probably do not lead to serious pregnancy problems. In fact, they could be positive stressors to help you better prepare for the challenges ahead. However, prolonged periods of unmanaged stress could be a cause of concern. Long-term unmanaged stress could bring about postnatal depression and poor pregnancy outcomes. 1,2
There are many ways to manage stress. Pick what works best for you. Most importantly, engage in self-care activities regularly during this period to rejuvenate and bond with your baby.
Every pregnancy is unique, and things may not always go as expected. Always rely on trusted information sources, especially your doctor’s advice on what’s best for you. Avoid self-diagnosis based on hearsay and dubious sources.
Stress is not normal if you consistently experience these symptoms2:
These symptoms are usually short-lasting, and most mothers do not need medical attention. The support, encouragement and reassurance from loved ones can often overcome a minor bout of low mood.
However, if symptoms persist for 2 or more weeks, speak to your gynaecologist or any trusted doctor.
Fathers-to-be play the most important supporting role in the pregnancy and baby care journey. Your emotional support and physical presence can make a world of difference to the experience.
Where possible, accompany your wife to her antenatal appointments. Keep close tabs on her progress. Make sure she keeps to her appointments and follows the doctor's instructions. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and share your concerns. Always let your wife know you both are in it together.
First-timer parents may find antenatal/parentcraft classes useful to prepare themselves for the baby’s arrival. You can pick up tips on baby care and meet other parents to form support groups. You can also learn to spot the signs of labour, so that when these happen, you will be ready to handle the situation.
Look for science-based information and help each other learn more about the journey ahead. There are many free pregnancy apps available, and you may wish to use one to keep track of the pregnancy. Click
here for the list of services and support helplines that may come in handy.
Pregnant women cope with many physiological changes, which could impact moods. Recognising the changes she is going through is the first step to helping her. Provide a listening ear and pay attention to her emotions. If you notice that the antenatal blues are serious and prolonged, suggest she see a doctor or a counsellor.
Pregnancy is a unique opportunity to strengthen your marriage. Don’t forget key principles like open communication and regular quality time together!
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Don’t hesitate to accept help from others during the pregnancy, postpartum period, as well as after. Practical household help can provide much relief for you to get needed rest. Trusted family members or friends can prepare meals, run errands, or care for children in the home.
Besides supporting your wife, be ready to take on baby care tasks, such as bathing, diaper changing, burping the baby or sharing night-time duties. Remember that your wife will be recovering physically from childbirth and needs plenty of rest.
As challenging as it sounds, strive to develop a routine to make caring for a newborn easier with each passing day. Start by introducing a sequence when it comes to key activities such as sleeping, feeding and playing, and adjust accordingly as your baby grows.
As parents-to-be, caring for your own health – both physical and mental – is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Reach out for support if you are finding it hard to cope. If you continuously experience pre-natal depression symptoms, do reach out to a medical professional for advice.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides for a healthy pregnancy.
1 Center for Housing Initiatives for Learning & Development. (2021, April).
Maternal mental health and well-being during pregnancy linked to brain development and function in children. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://thechild.sg/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2021/07/EI_001_CHILD_Importance-of-Maternal-Mood_For-Circulation-digital.pdf.
2 SingHealth. (2019, March 27).
Perinatal Depression. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://polyclinic.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/perinatal-depression-mental-wellness.
This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
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