Mar 10, 2009

Pregnancy blahs: Bored with pregnancy

I'm sick of being pregnant! Is something wrong with me?

Nope, it's perfectly normal to feel that way. Many women get tired of being pregnant during the third trimester, and some even earlier. What's exciting and new during the first few weeks and months of pregnancy can become pretty tedious by the sixth or seventh month. Let's face it, there's nothing particularly thrilling about having to roll out of bed sideways, groan every time you stand up, and pee 20 times a day. Sure, you always get offered a seat on the train, but you also face little delights like hemorrhoids and heartburn. It's enough to wipe the rosy glow from even the most excited mom-to-be.

However, if your pregnancy ennui starts to feel more like persistent blues or anxiety that's affecting your ability to function, talk to your prenatal care practitioner. Although mood swings are common in pregnancy (especially among women who suffer from PMS), feeling chronically bored and listless could be a symptom of depression. Postpartum depression gets more attention in the press, but at least 10 percent of women have bouts of depression during pregnancy. Untreated depression isn't good for you or the health of your baby, so it's important to get treatment. Fortunately, most cases of pregnancy-related depression can be treated by a supportive therapist and with antidepressant medication if necessary.

Dealing with others

On top of your physical discomfort, you may find yourself enduring endless questions and comments from others about your pregnancy. "Once I started showing, no one at work ever talked to me about anything but being pregnant," recalls Susan Greer, an accountant and mother of one from New Hampshire. "By the sixth month, I wanted that baby out and my body and identity back."

And then there are the unsolicited comments — and hands — on your physique. "I'm always getting 'Wow, you are so big!' comments, advice I didn't ask for, and people touching my stomach," a mom-to-be writes on our bulletin boards. "As if I'm not already annoyed because of how uncomfortable I am!"

Many women get tired of conversation that focuses on their burgeoning physical state. Try steering conversation back to nonpregnancy topics — even if it's just the weather or the latest reality TV show. Feel free to tell your family and close friends that you need a reprieve from pregnancy talk, and you're back in the market for conversation that has nothing to do with food cravings and not seeing your feet.

Also, give yourself permission to vent when you feel the need. Although family and friends (and even life partners) can sometimes get worn down from a verbal catalogue of pregnancy woes, you can count on finding a sympathetic ear in other pregnant women. Commiserate and trade advice with other women due the same month as you or women on any of our many pregnancy-related bulletin boards.

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