Low Self Esteem During Pregnancy
A Time of Joy?
The joys of pregnancy are what we usually hear and comment on when we discover someone is pregnant. However, joy isn't always the accompanying emotion, especially if the situation surrounding the pregnancy is less than stellar. Even women with a good sense of themselves and an appreciation for their own bodies, find that sometimes their self-esteem during pregnancy can be bruised. This usually happens relative to body changes - especially toward the end of the pregnancy when walking ceases to be a graceful movement and a woman feels more like she's lumbering than walking.
Yes, It Is Hormonal...
There was a time when it was thought that pregnancy provided insulation against depression and low self-esteem and that it was only after the baby was born that the feelings set in, when hormones were plunging. Now the prevailing thought is that the rapid increase in hormone levels at the beginning of the pregnancy causes a disruption in brain chemistry. This can lead to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
...And There Are Other Factors
There are a number of contributors or low self-esteem during pregnancy. If a woman has grown up with a poor sense of self-esteem, then becoming pregnant can add to that, especially with the hormonal changes that occur. Stressful feelings around being a mother and perhaps even feeling incompetent add to low self-esteem during pregnancy. If the relationship is tense and difficult, the pregnancy can complicate matters. At times, abuse enters into the equation and things can escalate out of control. It is imperative that counsel be sought to deal with issues before harm is done to mother, baby or both.
The Effect of Fertility Treatments
Women who have undergone fertility treatments often deal with low self-esteem during pregnancy. While they may be elated that they are finally pregnant, the fact that they had to have assistance can be a blow to their self-esteem. The worry that things may not go well or that there may be a problem with the baby are also areas that play on a woman's sense of self. The emotional side of fertility treatments can take a long time to recover from, and conceiving in the wake of several months of trying without success can add a feeling of anxiety to the experience. It isn't uncommon for a woman who has conceived through ART to have feelings of being terrified that the baby will be lost or the pregnancy will go awry.