This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips on stress relief during pregnancy.
Stress during pregnancy tends to go under the radar. You’re bloated, you’re exhausted, and your baby is playing with your bladder as if it’s their favorite toy!
It’s safe to say that expectant Moms have more to worry about than an increase in cortisol levels. Stress is almost accepted as a condition of pregnancy. 64% of women say that life is more stressful when they’re pregnant compared to before.
So, it’s a trait that you have to deal with, then? No. Sure, it may be common, but the side-effects are potentially dangerous. Stress, for instance, can be a factor for giving birth prematurely.
Also, there are impacts on your body once the baby is delivered. David Whitehouse is quoted in WebMD as saying that, “It’s well established that stress can affect your health,” regarding pregnancy.
Therefore, it’s essential to try and keep tabs on cortisol and lower it wherever possible. Ladies, here is a selection of tactics that will come in handy.
Stress Relief During Pregnancy
Focus On The Present
This can sound very far-out, man. Don’t worry because it isn’t straight from a hipster’s guide to giving birth. Instead, it’s a sound piece of advice that prevents you from looking too far into the future.
Obviously, the endpoint is delivering your child into the world, and you will think about this quite a lot. It’s impossible to avoid it.
But, it also encourages feelings of fear and anxiety. Women who haven’t given birth before can freak out at the thought of the process or the idea of raising a human being. Contemplating the future is a responsible thing to do, yet once you’ve come up with a plan, don’t overanalyze.
Things tend to happen at such a pace that it’s hard to follow every step of a strategy anyway. At the minute, taking advantage of peaceful moments to reflect on life is an excellent way to reduce anxiety.
Your baby’s movements are often the perfect remedy as they put your doubts into perspective.
Catch Some Zs
Figuring out the best time to conceive as well as what to expect when you’re expecting can be exhausting. There is a lot of info to digest, and it’s not always easy to understand.
While the bad news means that you’ll be tired as a result, the good news is that you get to add a favorite pastime to your pregnancy checklist.
Let’s face it – everybody loves bedtime. There’s nothing as comfy or secure as curling up under the sheets and closing your eyes. When you’re pregnant, you should do this as often as possible to negate the side-effects of stress.
Seven to eight hours of rest per night is crucial for your physical health and your mental wellbeing, too. Part of dealing with being pregnant is staying positive and not letting negative emotions creep into your mind.
You’re far more susceptible to the latter when you’re tired because the brain isn’t able to think critically. Sleeping more often will make you more effective at solving problems and, therefore, eliminating stress.
If being pregnant is an excuse to sleep more, it’s also a reason to exercise less. Not only are you tired and energy levels are low, but it’s not very practical.
The bump and the baby seem to jiggle around, and the sensation is pretty weird. Anyway, it’s not as if you must work out regularly now that you’re pregnant. At least, that’s what women assume.
However, the opposite is true – exercise is more crucial now than ever. There are several reasons why, including boosting energy levels, yet the main one is your stress levels.
The responsibility of being an expectant Mother is a tense and anxious time, so stress is going to build. For the sake of your health and the baby’s, you need to relieve the tension regularly, and working out is the perfect foil. Whether it’s going for a jog or a walk, exercise helps to take your mind off nagging doubts.
Also, it’s essential to remember that working out improves your immune system. Therefore, you and the baby are less at risk of contracting a disease as your white blood cells are very powerful.
Mothers-to-be spend so much time focusing on what’s next that they forget about the here and now. This post has already mentioned how gazing into your crystal ball can freak you out more than you realize.
Another thing it does is to stop you from enjoying the pregnancy. Now, if you’ve been or are pregnant, the idea may be laughable. Think about it for a moment, though – isn’t your life totally different now?
Motherhood is an incredible gift that Moms should cherish. Still, it’s a lot of hard work and responsibility. You’ve got those jobs for the rest of your life, which means being pregnant is the last time you can be selfish and think about Number 1 (to an extent).
So, indulge yourself a little in the name of relieving stress. If you aren’t a fan of working out, you can offset it by doing a gentle session and heading for a relaxing massage. There are cravings to look forward to, too. Lucky women get to inhale junk food without feeling guilty or worrying about their waistline!
All joking aside, you’re not at work and you have plenty of free time. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with a bit of retail therapy or meeting up with friends and family for a coffee. It may be your last chance for some time!
Speak To Your Doctor
The tips above may not make you less anxious. If this is the case, please don’t suffer alone. Speak to your doctor or the midwife about the emotions and ask for their expert opinion. It may be that you require behavioral therapy to cope. Or, medication may be in order, depending on the stage of your pregnancy.
Whatever the decision, you should have faith in your medical team to safeguard the health of you and your baby.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.