Pregnancy brings big changes to your life, especially if this is your first baby. Some people find it easier to cope with these changes than others do. Everybody is different.

Your feelings

Even if you feel excited about having your baby, it's also common to feel more vulnerable and anxious while pregnant.

If feeling down or anxious is affecting your everyday life, tell a midwife. You do not have to have a particular mental health problem to be offered help dealing with worrying thoughts or feelings.

The healthtalk website has video and written interviews of women talking about their emotions in pregnancy.

Find out more about mental health problems and pregnancy.

Your relationship

It's quite common for couples to have arguments sometimes during pregnancy, even when they're looking forward to having the baby.

Some arguments may have nothing to do with the pregnancy, but others may be caused by one of you feeling worried about the future and how you're going to cope.

It's important to realise that during pregnancy there are understandable reasons for occasional difficulty between you, and good reasons for feeling closer and more loving.

Domestic abuse

If your relationship is abusive or violent, get help. There are organisations that can help, such as Women's Aid, which works to keep women and children safe.

Find out more about getting help for domestic abuse.

Support in labour

Many partners want to be present at their baby's birth. It can help to find out about your birth options, including where you can give birth.

You can also read the page on what your birth partner can do to support you, which suggests some ways your partner can help and what it can mean for them to share this experience.

It may be that you do not have a partner during this pregnancy, and you need extra support from family or friends. You may wish to talk to a midwife about some of the services that are available.

Family and friends

Pregnancy is a special time for you and your partner, and there may be lots of other people around to support you, such as your parents, sisters, brothers and friends.

People can offer help in all sorts of ways, and you'll probably be glad to have their support. But sometimes it can feel like they're taking over.

If this is how you feel, talk about it. It may help if you gently explain that there are some decisions only you and your partner can make, and some things you prefer to do on your own.

The important thing is to decide what is right for you. After all, it is your pregnancy and your baby.

Find out more about your relationships after having a baby.

Having a baby if you're on your own

If you're pregnant and on your own, it can be helpful to have supportive people around you, such as friends.

Making decisions, whether personal or medical, can be difficult when you're by yourself. If you're struggling, it's better to find someone to talk to rather than letting problems make you feel down.

Meet other single parents

It can be encouraging to meet other mums who also went through pregnancy on their own.

Gingerbread is a self-help organisation for single-parent families. It has a network of local groups and can give you information and advice. The charity can also put you in touch with other parents in a similar situation to you.

Visit the Gingerbread online forum or call the free helpline 0808 802 0925 (Mondays 10am to 6pm; Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 10am to 4pm; Wednesday 10am to 1pm and 5pm to 7pm).

Ask someone you trust to support you during the birth

If you do not have a partner that does not mean you have to go to antenatal visits by yourself or cope with labour on your own. You can take whoever you like, such as a friend, sister, or perhaps your mum.

Involve your birth partner in antenatal classes if you can, and let them know what you want. It may help to discuss your birth plan with them so they understand your wishes for labour.

You can also ask a midwife if there are antenatal classes in your area that are especially for single people.

Plan ahead

Think about how you'll manage after the birth. Will there be people around to help and support you?

If there's nobody who can give you support, it might help to discuss your situation with a social worker. A midwife can refer you, or you can contact your local council.

Money and housing

If money is an immediate concern, find out more about the maternity leave and benefits you're entitled to claim. Your local Jobcentre Plus or Citizens Advice service can advise you.

If you have a housing problem, contact your local Citizens Advice or your local housing advice centre. You can find the contact details on your local council's website or at a local library.

Gingerbread can also supply information on a range of topics, from benefits to home maintenance. There may be a local support group in your area – ask a midwife or health visitor.

You might be eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant, or Healthy Start vouchers for free milk, vegetables and vitamins.

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