Going through a pregnancy can be stressful for anyone whether they have bipolar disorder or not. The good news is, is that we can survive and thrive through the process. Also, we can rock through parenthood. My Father has bipolar disorder and he is one of my favorite people.
Honestly, I could never really tell the difference between him and anyone else when I was growing up. So, if we are stressed about becoming a parent and having bipolar disorder, we can worry less about that. Just like anyone else who may have any medical condition, there will be certain stressors that we face.
In this chapter, we will go over some stressors that can be involved with having bipolar disorder and going through a pregnancy. Then we will go through a list of twenty-five things that we can to handle some if not all of our stress. Let’s start with my personal example. When I got pregnant with my second son, life was great. My husband was finishing up a four year degree, my oldest son was in kindergarten, my sister was getting married and everyone in my life was doing well. However, within a few months, things started to change.
Mainly, the way I felt got worse. The dreaded morning sickness kicked in. It was hard to get through my daily tasks because I wasn’t feeling good. Also, my husband got an offer to be an intern which cut his pay in half. Luckily, I am good at budgeting so we were fine but those two areas added in some stress during the pregnancy. Sometimes when we are pregnant, some unexpected things can happen. Also, with having bipolar disorder, we can have the risk of manic or depressive symptoms. Luckily through therapy and/or medication, we can manage our symptoms. We will go over those two areas in a later chapter.
So, let’s list out some of the stressors I was feeling:
• Basic symptoms of bipolar disorder
• Financial stress
• Job stress
• Major life change
Any of these stressors can become a trigger for someone with bipolar disorder. In addition, combining them all at the same time can be a lot to handle at once. There is more information on triggers in Bipolar Disorder: Triggers, Boundaries and Roadblocks. When we have bipolar disorder, it is good to be aware of our triggers or things that stress us out.
There are many ways to work through our stress in order to remain stable throughout a pregnancy. Here is my list of twenty-five activities to handle stress during a pregnancy while having bipolar disorder:
• Talk to a therapist
• Talk to a psychiatrist
• Join a support group
• Start a support group
• Listen to music
• Make a journal (personal)
• Make a journal (for baby)
• Start a new hobby
• Learn a new recipe
• Plan a small trip (shopping/fun)
• Call a friend or family member
• Make a budget
• Read a book or magazine
• Practice a beauty routine
• Meal plan/meal prep
• Organize baby clothes/supplies
• Go out for a small treat or order delivery
• Visit people or invite company
Sometimes when we are pregnant, we might feel tired, overwhelmed and even stressed. Make sure to pick some items from the list and try to relieve stress. Stress isn’t good for an expectant Mother or the baby. Some of these activities can be done together. We can listen to music and post how we are feeling in our support group. We can call a friend while going for a walk.
Sometimes we just need a little destruction and/or some time to focus on other things. If we are feeling down or stressed, getting into an activity can help us get relief. A very important part of relieving stress is having support. Whether it is in person, over the phone or by text, a little support can go a long way. Learn more in Bipolar Disorder Pregnancy and Childbirth
Author of Bipolar Disorder Pregnancy and Childbirth, 10 Ways to Thrive with Bipolar Disorder and Manic.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of PatientNextDoor. Any omissions or errors are the author’s and PatientNextDoor does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.