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Adjusting to pregnancy

The moment you discover you are pregnant, you start your journey towards parenthood. This can be a time of many different feelings. Most parents-to-be will be both excited and nervous.

It's a time of change. For the mother giving birth, there will be changes to your body and your lifestyle.

For the father, these changes will likely impact on you. Your partner may have less energy to do the things you used to enjoy together. They may be feeling anxious or nervous during the pregnancy.

You both may want to make lifestyle changes such as:

  • diet
  • how you socialise
  • financial changes
  • preparing your home for your new baby

You both will be adjusting to your roles as parents-to-be. It's normal for you to feel both positive and negative emotions during pregnancy.

If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your GP, midwife or obstetrician. They can direct you to helpful supports.

Emotions during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time to emotionally prepare for being a parent. It’s common to think about the kind of parents you want to be and the changes that will happen when the baby is born.

It's normal to feel lots of emotions - positive and negative. Most of these changes are normal, but it will help to talk to someone about how you feel.​

Tiredness, nausea and hormones can affect your emotions during pregnancy. You may have occasional bursts of emotions like anger and sadness.


A small amount of stress will not harm your baby. Try to manage stress as early as possible.

When you are stressed, try to do calming activities such as:

  • singing
  • talk with a good friend or supportive family member
  • say something kind to yourself

Getting support

Doing what you can to manage feelings is about helping yourself and your baby. It is not about being a good or bad parent.

Try to create your own stress-management plan. This might include what you need to start doing more of. It also includes what you might do less of.

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your GP, midwife or obstetrician if:

  • your feelings are very intense or severe
  • you are feeling low, angry or upset most of the time
  • you are feeling very stressed

Perinatal mental health services

Perinatal mental health services are available in all maternity units and hospitals. They provide specialist support to women experiencing mental health problems in pregnancy.

Your GP, midwife, doctor or psychiatrist can refer you to the service.

Related topic

Baby blues

Page last reviewed: 22 September 2022
Next review due: 22 September 2025