You saw the blue line on your pregnancy test kit. Yay! Youíre having a baby. Exciting. Happy. Joyful.
Normally, you would start researching and learning as much knowledge as you possibly can to welcome your first baby and prepare yourself to be a mom.
For the next 6 months or more, youíll be busy making sure you eat healthily. Getting constant support and attention from your mom and family about pregnancy and motherhood. Talking to your friends who are already on a motherhood journey for tips and advice. Shopping for the baby stuff. Getting ready for your baby nursery, etcetera etcetera.
But, if youíre like me who is thousands of miles away from my mom and family, you canít get to do all those things above. Because, when I found out that I was expecting my first baby, I had just relocated to the UK for a few months. So I only knew a few people outside my husbandís family.
Although there was the internet that I could use to email my family and friends back at home, it was not easy to have Ďflowing communicationí. At times I had to wait for at least 24 hours to get a reply. By the time it was in my inbox, I missed the moments and mood. And talking over the phone via international calls was expensive. There was no Whatsapp. No Hangouts. No Instagram. Or Snapchat. The only social media was the early days of Facebook.
Thankfully, I had a very good pregnancy. I had no complaints of morning sickness, or strange cravings, or any other pregnancy struggles.
However, I did have mood swings from time to time. I blame it on the hormone changes. ?
But in hindsight, I think my circumstances at that time was the main trigger of my moodiness. Because whether we admit it or not, itís not easy to experience your first pregnancy where you hardly know anyone well enough to share everything apart from your husband.
On top of that, the fact that I found out about my pregnancy just a little while after Iíve settled in my new place was not easy. Because it means I had to go through another big life change within a short time.
The journey can be a bit lonely.
So, I did my best to fight my mood swings and stay positive. Below are the things that I did. Obviously, they didnít keep me out of the low mood, sadness, and loneliness at all times throughout my pregnancy. But they helped stay positive most of the time.
In the end, I can say I had a very good and happy pregnancy overall.
Prayer and/or meditation
If we do it with full concentration in the hearts and minds, prayer and/or meditation are the best ways to calm ourselves and bring peace within us.
When we do it regularly, prayer/meditation can nurture us mentally and spiritually. This can help us build a stronger inner-self.
As soon as I found out I was expecting, I started walking every day. Just around my neighborhood. For at least half an hour. Everyday.
I think this helps me a lot. Because you get to exercise and have a bit of fresh air. Also, the chance of seeing other people outside is good for you.
If you donít fancy walking, you can try another form of exercise. Anything that you like and suits you. You can join a class or simply go swimming. You can also check Youtube, it has endless choices of exercise during pregnancy. But make sure you do exercise regularly.
Reading and/or listen to music
Many people donít like reading. But please try. You can read articles on the internet. Like youíre doing at the moment ?. Just try to exercise your mind with reading. Itíll do you good. I promise.
Throughout pregnancy, I was a regular customer at my local library. I managed to finish 10 books every 3 weeks. Variety of books.
Novels: on crime, thriller. Non-fiction: on motherhood and pregnancy, cooking, baking, painting, gardening. Anything that looks appealing to me at the time.
And if youíre into listening to music, you can read your book at the same time you listen to your favorite tune. Or you can do them on separate occasions if you like. But reading and listening to music can be good to uplift your mood. Just make sure you choose the right book and the right tune?.
Invite your new family and friends
It sounds cliche, doesnít it? But some people may not be keen to do it because inviting someone over can involve extra work. Donít you think?
I personally find that inviting people over is quite beneficial. Because the excitement in getting ready and having them around is good for the chemical in our brains which can boost our peace in mind.
Writing a pregnancy journal
In fairness, my pregnancy journal is more like a diary throughout pregnancy which is mostly filled with sad things due to my low mood ?.
But thatís actually my reason to write a journal.
Basically, I tried to let out all the emotions and thoughts that made me sad. By writing them down, I kinda empty my mind from unnecessary things. And trying to get rid of the negativeness so that I could feel better.
I used to do this then went out for a walk. It worked for me.
However, you can actually write a Ďproper pregnancy journalí. About you and your baby. In writing. In pictures. All good things. Excitement. Struggles. Anything.
Itíll keep your mind busy in a creative way and itíll be fun to read later when the baby has arrived.
Having a baby after relocation to a new place is overwhelming. See the tips to stay positive during your first pregnancy when you’re far from the homeland.
Many women that I know tend to forget to do self-care once they get married and have a baby. For all sorts of reasons.
But pleaseÖ.. start a simple self-care routine. Even if itís only doing a DIY home spa with homemade face and body mask. Or you can book yourself for a proper spa treatment at a salon. If youíre not keen on the idea, maybe you can just have a manicure and pedicure. Or a body massage session. Anything that can make you feel cared for. But try to do it regularly throughout your pregnancy. Make it something for you to look forward to.
Eat something that you like: Chocolate
I know I knowÖ. Youíll think itís ridiculous of me to even mention this. But the thing is, when youíre pregnant for the first time youíll tend to do anything at the best you can to make sure your baby gets the best start of care.
Youíll start a good, healthy and balanced diet that serves benefits for your pregnancy. There will be a long list of what things you should eat, and you should avoid it. Like it or not, our diet becomes restricted.
Because advanced health and medical research have found so many things that can affect your baby in good ways or bad ways. Hence. we should be sensible and intentional in our diet.
But, alongside with your healthy diet, you should let yourself have some enjoyment as well. Yes, we want to do mindful eating. But we also want to enjoy what we eat.
From time to time, you should eat something that you truly like and enjoy. Mine was chocolate. Looking back, this was probably my pregnancy cravings. But I admit that I had to eat chocolate every day. Even if itís only a little piece.
Make a list and do small but frequent shopping for the baby
The most fun and exciting part of having a baby are of course shopping for the baby. Many baby things are so tempting to buy. We can get easily distracted and want everything on the list.
But, you donít really need all those Ďfabulousí momma and baby stuff. You should do your research about the importance of every item before you decide you want to have it. Then make a list.
Next, you would want to spread the list over time. Do small shopping at a time and do it more frequently. The idea is you would want to give yourself more excitement that lasts longer.
Although I did most of my baby shopping in high-street shops offline, these days you can do it online easily.
Find a new passion
If you have a hobby that you can keep doing during your pregnancy, then you should do so. If you donít, you might want to explore yourself with a new passion.
Perhaps you want to learn how to knit or crochet? You can start making a baby blanket. Or you want to know how to sew baby clothing? Go on, learn it. Or maybe youíre more interested in techie stuff like learning more about the computer? Graphic Design? Thereís nothing wrong with that.
Basically, you want your mind to be creatively and constructively busy. Plus, the excitement from doing it is much needed to keep your positivity.
A final note on how to cope with first pregnancy when you just relocated
If you have your first baby after you relocated thousands of miles away, you have to prepare yourself mentally more than anything. Because having a baby is a huge life change, as well as relocating to a new place. And we know that pregnancy affects our hormone balance and can cause mental issues for some women.
So, I think itís really important to keep ourselves positive by creating happy little bubbles during pregnancy. By doing simple little things like:
- Regular walk/ exercise
- Read a book/ listen to music
- Invite your new family and friends
- Write a pregnancy journal
- Eat your favorite treat like chocolate
- Shopping for the baby
- Find a new hobby/passion
- Looking back, itís this positivity during pregnancy that helped me out of the baby blues when my baby arrived. Iím grateful that I had a happy and content pregnancy because it prepared me mentally for the big life change of being a mom away from my own mom and family.
All the best.