You are pregnant. Perhaps you just found out and you are still reeling from the realization that life is being formed inside you…right now.
You may not look different. Do you feel different?
Having the knowledge that you are pregnant, and making the choice of what to do with your news is very personal. Will you share? Will you wait? Do you want to become internet famous for how you tell those closest to you? Or, would you like to keep this news safe and secure, and wait a while? There is no wrong answer.
Learning you are pregnant, and becoming connected to your pregnancy, are two completely different things, and they do not both need to happen. But if you are one of those who does not feel a bond building and wants to, there are some ways others have found a connection at this most spectacular time.
It is not the birth story of your baby, obviously, but learning your birth story, or the stories of close friends and family you cherish is a tradition in woman’s lore that builds community and connection. Feeling connected to the world of makers, creators and mothers is a beautiful way to hear how others have carried the baton of motherhood. If you would rather have more degrees of separation, perhaps a birth story podcast is more your style.
Pregnancy Focused Fitness
Finding a prenatal exercise class has the potential to be a great connector for two reasons: you would have space where it is completely normal and expected to think, feel, and explore your pregnant self, and you can meet others who are due relatively close to your own delivery date.
Prenatal yoga is a common recommendation by doulas to help you connect with your breath, and practice the mind-body connection that is so helpful in labor. But there are many different ways to engage in this community: swimming, walking, and aerobics are some. Talk with your care provider if you have questions about exercise and safe limits for you.
Writing uses a part of your brain to process and explore that is difficult to tap into with thinking alone. If you have never journaled, starting a daily note about your experience, dreams, or feelings doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
As you learn more about your ideal birth, the fears that keep popping up when you are busy doing something else, or any frustrations with your experience, writing it all down can help you to release the tension and stress that can accompany those thoughts. When you can release and relax at the end of the day (or anytime), your body is more open to hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, that help you feel connected and happy. Oxytocin especially builds bonds. After you journal, consider a snuggle with your loved one or pets to help you nurture yourself, and your relationships with your people both outside, and inside of your body.