Things May Change At Work
Most of your co-workers probably will be supportive, but some may feel that you’re not doing your fair share because you are tired, aren’t feeling well or are missing work because of doctors’ appointments. They also may be concerned that more tasks will fall on them during your maternity leave. If you sense that your co-workers are feeling shortchanged, try to make amends by thanking them for doing extra work and offering to help them out when you do feel rested and energetic.
Your Friendships Will Evolve
Relationships with your friends—particularly childless ones—may be put to the test during pregnancy. You may not have much in common anymore, particularly if your friends want to go out and party and you’d rather curl up at home and read parenting books. If this happens, it’s important to sit down and explain to your friends that they’re still important to you, but that at least for a while your priorities are changing.
At the same time, start building a support group of friends with young children. If you can’t find such people, start your own group by hanging a poster in your doctor’s waiting room or a local community center. Or introduce yourself to the people in your childbirth-preparation class. After you have your baby, you’re going to want to have friends with babies the same age so you can share experiences, discuss concerns and trade advice about motherhood and babies.
Dealing with your Changing Body
Body-image issues tend to surface during pregnancy, as women in our society grow up surrounded by images that endorse thinness. Even if a woman recognizes that it’s healthy and necessary during pregnancy, gaining weight can cause distress. “Women feel out of control when their body changes,” says Catherine Chambliss, Ph.D., chairwoman of the psychology department at Ursinus College in the Philadelphia area. “It’s hard to set aside all of that earlier programming.”
On the other hand, some expectant moms learn to accept and even love their bodies like never before. In fact, says Expecting Change author Stern, “Some women feel a real heightened sexuality during pregnancy.”
If you’re worried or apprehensive about anything related to pregnancy or impending parenthood, be sure to talk with someone—your spouse, your mom or a good friend. If you think you may need some extra help, discuss your concerns with your doctor or midwife or with a therapist.