Pregnancy is one of the most blissful moments in a woman’s life, this is also one of those moments wherein the woman needs the support of the spouse more than ever. During the 9 months of pregnancy, a woman is like a mixed bag of emotions. The stress brought about by hormonal imbalances and bodily pain extremely affects the dynamics of the couple, and this is further magnified by the pressure of decision making and meeting the expectations of the people around them.
As a spouse, you need to have the correct mindset to deal with stressful situations that may arise during the pregnancy. She may feel detached and lose interest in the things you do as a couple; she may even feel a sense of worthlessness and often doesn’t have the energy to do anything at all. Here are some things that you can do to help your partner cope with depression during this period.
- Let Her Know that You and the Entire Family Are There
This is probably the easiest thing you can do to help your spouse. Oftentimes, she just needs a listening ear to share her feelings with. Words of reassurance like “I know that this is difficult for you, but I will stay right here” goes a long way. Make her feel that no matter how difficult it gets, you are there for her. You can also ask the whole family to spend more time with you and your spouse to lessen the dull and depressing moments. Also, constantly remind her that she is not alone and that she has everyone’s support.
- Communicate Constantly
Whatever decisions you and your spouse need to make must be discussed adequately. She might be worried about certain things that you both need to address or plans that need to be taken care of. Give her the assurance that you are in this as much as she is. Be flexible and try not to set things in stone; however, say what you have in mind gently and with respect so as not to upset your spouse. The important thing is you reduce the risk of stressful situations while handling the important things you both need to accomplish during the pregnancy.
- Introduce Her to Stress Management Activities
There are a lot of activities that can help your spouse reduce stress or remove it completely. Here is a list of activities and their benefits; some of these activities can even be done in the comfort of your own home:
- Prenatal Meditation – Meditation makes you feel refreshed and relaxed. There are meditation techniques that your spouse can learn to alleviate stress and occasional pain during the pregnancy. You can visit YouTube and just type “prenatal meditation,” and you will see a lot of instructional videos about the topic.
- Prenatal Yoga – Contrary to what some may think, yoga is not actually a strenuous exercise and is safe for the mother and baby. There are some yoga moves which help prepare the mother for labor and also alleviate her bodily pain which, in turn, reduces her stress levels and anxiety during the pregnancy.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation/Breathing Exercises – This technique was developed in the 1920’s and had been used throughout the decades. Basically, you tense your muscles and then progressively relax them. This helps relax the body; and in conjunction with breathing exercises, it helps reduce stress drastically.
- Acupuncture for Depression – Acupuncture is a healing art which originated in China and is now widely used today. Sticking needles to certain acupuncture points stimulates nerves which, in turn, releases certain brain chemicals like endorphins that are commonly known as the “feel good” chemicals. These chemicals block pain receptors and help the body achieve a relaxed and calm state.
- Seek Professional Help
Experiencing clinical depression and anxiety is a serious thing. Consult with your OB-GYN first, and if the doctor confirms that your spouse is dealing with depression, your doctor will refer you to a specialist who can better assist. The psychologist or psychiatrist may recommend Psychotherapy or other methods like hypnosis, electrotherapy, low-risk medications, and antidepressants. Both doctors will be in sync and updated with each other’s findings so as to assure the constant wellbeing of the mother and child for a successful delivery.
Altogether, these are the things that a spouse can do to help their partners cope with stress during their pregnancy. Keep in mind to prioritize the feelings of your partner because she is in a vulnerable state and also be sure to deal with the pregnancy with an open mind and a sensible heart to build a strong foundation for a loving and happy family.