Expectant mothers go through a lot as it is, and the last thing they need is extra worry. Unfortunately, pregnancy brings with it its fair share of stressors, from growing anticipation over the baby to worrying if they’re going to be a good mom.
Stress that occurs only occasionally is probably not going to have any negative effects on your unborn child. But if you're experiencing stress and anxiety on a daily basis, or more than is typical for you, and you're having trouble coping, talk to your midwife or physician. Stress of an extreme and persistent kind has been linked to an increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
It's normal to feel stressed throughout pregnancy because of all the changes happening in your life. Managing your stress levels during pregnancy can be aided by talking to your partner, family, or other pregnant women. Mindfulness meditation and prenatal yoga have both been shown to be beneficial. Furthermore, you can talk to your doctor or midwife if you need help. .
Take a step back and figure out where the stress is coming from
Before you start a round of breathing exercises or calm your nerves with a cup of tea, it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about what’s causing the stress in the first place. For example, if you’re worried about how your partner is handling the pregnancy, it might be a good idea to sit down and have a chat with them and discuss what they’re feeling. If someone at work is constantly complaining and putting you under pressure, schedule a one-on-one and discuss what’s going on.
Have a relaxing massage to relieve tension
In most women, stress levels increase during pregnancy. The release of endorphins during a massage has been shown to improve mood, calm anxiety, and even aid in falling asleep. It also induces the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals, endorphins and serotonin, which can help relax and soothe both mom and baby.
Hormonal shifts occur throughout pregnancy and affect the mother's body and mood. One hormone called Relaxin relaxes the muscles and joints, making it easier to move about and give birth. By increasing blood flow to the area, massage can ease aching joints. Pregnancy massages are wonderful for relieving stress and easing aching muscles. If you feel stress creeping in, give yourself a massage or book a massage.
Talk to someone
Sometimes the things that are causing you the most stress are purely in your head. Giving birth causes anxiety because of the unknowns that come with the process. If you're feeling stressed out, it can help to talk to another person about what's bothering you. If you need to talk about something that's bothering you, find someone you trust, whether it's a friend, a partner, or a therapist, and let it all out. Putting your worries and anxieties out in the open can do wonders for your mental health.
Use positive self-talk
There's no denying the difficulty of pregnancy and new parenting. Infertility, worry during pregnancy, and the demands of a newborn or toddler can all contribute to a downward spiral of depression.
Regular meditation, gratitude, and positive self-talk are just a few of the methods that can help you adopt a more positive and optimistic outlook on life. A positive outlook can make you feel better and can also serve as an example that your children can follow to help them overcome obstacles in their own lives.
Try breathing exercises
Breathing can be significantly altered by stress. Breathing less deeply and more quickly can reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood. When you breathe too shallowly, your body may respond by becoming more anxious. A mindful approach to breathing and meditation can help you break the cycle.
If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, try closing your eyes, sitting or lying down, and taking five deep breaths. Focus on the expansion and contraction of your chest as you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to unwind and let go of your worries with each inhale and exhale.
It can be difficult to manage stress during pregnancy, so find ways to relax. Try yoga or tai chi, as both have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. A massage is great for relaxing sore muscles and relieving stress. You can also try deep breathing exercises and meditation.
Depending on your personal needs and circumstances, many medical practitioners will encourage you to seek out professional help when you need help managing stress. If you think you may need a referral to a mental health professional, look into your health insurance coverage to see what types of professionals are available in your area.