It’s not uncommon for women with ADHD to struggle with managing their symptoms during pregnancy and beyond. This is because ADHD is exacerbated by hormonal changes, stress and fatigue. However, here are 5 strategies you can use to support your wellbeing during your transition into motherhood.

1. Look to your past

How tuning into three areas from your past can support your emotional wellness:

*Sense of Identity
*Managed Transitions

It is important to understand how your ADHD symptoms were impacted when you first started your menstrual cycle and if you struggled with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) in the past. PMDD disproportionately affects people with Autism and ADHD. Roughly 46% of women with ADHD experience PMDD (

*Reflecting on this can help you feel a little bit more prepared for how the serge and changing hormones both during pregnancy and postpartum may impact you.


Another area to consider is your sense of identity. What did that transition look like as a teenager when you were forming your sense of self.  How about when you first learned about your ADHD diagnosis?

  • Were these times met with low self-esteem?
  • Highs or lows or feelings of rage?

With the transition into motherhood, you are adjusting to another sense of identity. For some women when their experiences being pregnant or during the postpartum phase were difficult, it can lead to a poor sense of self as a mother. Having a low sense of self is associated with increased risks of depression and anxiety.

This last one is around managing transitions.

  • How did you cope with other big life transitions?
  • Stressful situations?

There is often more involved from an executive functioning standpoint when a life big transition happens. The extra demands during that time can make life feel even more overwhelming. Therefore, your ADHD triggers and tendencies might be more heightened. For example, if you tend to be an impulsive shopper, you might find yourself engaging in this more during a big transition.

*Practice self-compassion goes a long way when your past “stuff” resurfaces*

Looking to your past with PMDD, sense of self, & how you managed transitions for what was difficult also means you can look to your past for what was helpful.

Where or how did you find resiliency during those times. 


2. Create your support team & seek out more help if needed.


The transition into motherhood is considered one of the most vulnerable times in a women’s life. This vulnerability can bring up all sorts of different feelings such as past shame and insecurities. 

Therefore, while nothing can fully prepare you for what to expect during pregnancy and motherhood, you can expect that some of your “old stuff” will resurface at some point. Knowing how to recognize and name it when it does show up can put that “old stuff” back in its place.

Some women with ADHD experience and increase in sensory and emotional sensitivity, that leads to feeling polarized in anxious and depressed thoughts & feelings. Knowing when this is happening for you can help you know ways you can support yourself.

*Know your limits, set boundaries, ask for help, be kind to yourself, and practice your self-care strategies.

Who will be part of the plan? What will be involved in the plan, and what is the backup plan to the support plan. Then, share that plan with someone you trust. It is not uncommon for women struggling during the perinatal period to not recognizing how much they might be struggling with their mental health. But being prepared with a plan often is helpful just in itself.

3. Organization Systems

Why creating a system will save you frustration, tears, and stress in the long run.

The baby “to do” lists and extra executive functioning needed in caring for a newborn can be extremely overwhelming. If you’ve struggled with wasting time looking for items before having a baby, it might be worth considering spending time focusing on areas that you can make your life easier. Implementing a few strategies such as a location you will always put your keys. Or using a whiteboard to track your baby’s BM’s, birthtime, and feedings.

When your home environment feels more organized, internally you will also feel more organized which will help reduce stress, anxiety, and sense of overwhelm.

*Breakdown tasks and then turn up some music to get it done.

*Invite a friend over who loves organization to support setting up your home environment that can work better for you. 

4. Exercise, Mindfulness, Sleep & Nutrition

What is good for everyone is GREAT for your Baby and especially for someone with ADHD.

These 4 things can make a HUGE impact on mood and ADHD symptoms. They really do make a difference and can’t be stressed enough. A lot of women with ADHD talk about really struggling with motivation during pregnancy so keep it simple for yourself!

Even if it’s 10minutes a day of going for a walk in the woods, it is better than nothing and can still have a positive impact.

Exercise, and Mindfulness:

Try Pre-natal yoga for a two for one. Mindfulness and exercise at the same time while benefiting from movements to reduce discomfort during pregnancy, among other wonderful benefits of being around other pregnant woman, it’s a win-win.


Poor sleep is often something that can trigger your negative self-talk, which can create a downward spiral as we tend to eat more sweets and salty foods when we are feeling tired and down. This can cause us to then feel sluggish and so we are less likely to workout, which can be difficult to break out of that cycle.


Another consideration is that your body may respond differently to foods during and after pregnancy so if you are experiencing sleep, digestion, irritability, or other changes you could consider meeting with a functional nutritionist.

*Recommendation: Understand the role of Nutrition and ADHD to support your symptoms.

*Track your symptoms in a journal during pregnancy and post baby.

5. Know your strengths

Saved the best for last!

Number 5 on the list for ways you can support your wellbeing during your transition into motherhood is know your strengths. You may not realize it, but you already have amazing strengths that no other mother has quite like you. It might not feel like the strengths show up often enough but focusing on what creates your right environment will help you shine.

*List all your strengths and post it up on your bathroom mirror to see every morning!

Here are just a few of the top strengths I see in moms with ADHD:

  • Creativity (play ideas)
  • Empathy (understanding & sensitivity)
  • Intuition (knowing when something is off)
  • Spunk and sense of fun to dance, paint, sing, and laugh (great for development)
  • Being in the here and now and that is exactly where your little needs you to be.

Motherhood can come with all sorts of challenges, and as a mom with ADHD you might not do things like all the other mothers, but you are exactly the mother your little one needs you to be!

Looking for more help?

As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I say it takes a whole community to support motherhood. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, here are some resources.

MN visit: Parent-Child Bond – These are the moments between ADHD & motherhood email me with questions:

Postpartum Support International – PSI

Home (

ADDitude – ADD & ADHD Symptom Tests, Signs, Treatment, Support (

ADDitude webinars (sept 7th recorded) Postpartum depression in women with and without ADHD 

In wrapping up I leave you with this. You-ADHD Momma-are not alone and the struggle is real. I like to think of being a mother with ADHD is like being a hummingbird. Hummingbirds have the ability to fly in different directions. They are known for having high energy levels and for being erratic and restless. Having wings that are moving faster than other birds, they truly are unique. And in the right conditions and one appears, people are amazed be them.

Living with ADHD while pregnant and transitioning into motherhood can feel like you are working twice as hard and not getting anywhere, like the hummingbird. What’s more is that now all the energy is going towards your growing baby, it can be difficult to have the right conditions to show up for other areas in your life.