What is emotional health? It’s a state of social and mental well-being. Getting ready for a baby can be joyful and exciting; it also can be stressful, frustrating and confusing. No wonder many expecting and new parents feel overwhelmed at times.


Why is it important to maintain emotional well-being during pregnancy? A mother’s well-being, including emotional, greatly influences their unborn child. Women who experience stress during pregnancy are more likely to deliver their baby too early, increasing the likelihood of delays in baby’s intellectual, emotional and physical development.


How can you look after yourself during pregnancy? Reduce your stress by lowering any unreasonable expectations of what your “perfect” pregnancy will look like. It’s OK to not have the “right” maternity clothes, to not eat just the right food at every meal, to spend a day on the couch when you just feel icky. It’s important during this time to extend your support system. Reach out to other new parents, share your feelings with someone you trust, and by all means, ask your healthcare team lots of questions.


Dallas County Public Health offers a free support program for any expecting mom living within the county. Call 515-993-3750 for more information.