Many mums-to-be feel stress during pregnancy, and that is because of the changes that are happening in both their lives and bodies.
Causes of stress can include:
- The discomfort of pregnancy. Not only is there the extra weight to carry, but pregnancy can also bring about morning sickness, back pain, and sore breasts.
- Hormonal changes. Mood swings are common and these can exacerbate feelings of stress.
- Worries about the baby. The majority of pregnancies are fine, but mums can still worry about the health of their baby while pregnant.
- Worries about the future. What will going through labour be like? Where will the extra money come from to care for my baby? What adjustments will I need to make when welcoming the new addition into my life? These are just some of the worries mums might experience while pregnant.
If you’re currently pregnant, you may be going through stress yourself, and it might have been brought on by the causes we listed above. Thankfully, you can take some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, as pregnancy stress is common. However, it is important to get a handle on it. Not only will your health suffer if you live with prolonged stress, but you have the heath of your newborn to consider too. Stress can bring about premature birth and that can increase the risk of health problems in your baby, so finding ways to deal with your stress is a must.
Here are some tips that we hope you find useful.
#1: Get plenty of rest
The extra weight of your baby can cause your energy levels to drop so you will be feeling more tired than normal. And when you’re tired, you might be extra sensitive, and that is no help to your stress levels. So, to protect your mental health, rest as much as you can, and follow these sleeping tips to ensure you get enough shut-eye. Delegate some of your household responsibilities too, and take time out to relax whenever you’re starting to feel the strain.
#2: Create a pregnancy checklist
There will be a lot for you to think about while pregnant, including the things you will need to buy for your newborn, and the various ways you will need to prepare for your newborn. Without a checklist, you might become overwhelmed when trying to work out what you need to do and when, and that will be no good for your stress levels. So, to make life easier for yourself, make a note of everything you need to get a handle on. As a guide, these are the items to include on your pregnancy checklist, so have a look and use them to prepare for your new arrival.
#3: Talk to somebody
Don’t keep your worries to yourself, as you might start to stress more if you brood over them. If you have any concerns, talk to your midwife and GP, as they will be able to put your mind at ease if you’re worried. If you’re going to an antenatal class or any other group where there are new mums-to-be, talk to them too. They will be going through the same worries and feelings as you are, so having that support will be very useful to you. And talk to your partner, your friends, and any of your extended family members. Talking through how you are feeling can be a great stress-reliever, so don’t be afraid to share with any trusted person in your life.
#4: Eat healthily
Healthy foods are good for your brain and body, and they are good for your baby too. So eat something nutritious regularly throughout the day. Your blood sugar levels will drop if you don’t, and you might then start to feel tired, tetchy and stressed. We appreciate you might not always feel like eating when you have morning sickness, and we know that you might have strange cravings too. However, these healthy eating tips for morning sickness might be useful to you if you’re feeling nauseous, and your GP will offer you further advice if you’re craving foods that aren’t good for you.
#5: Exercise when you can
You might not always feel like exercise, especially when you’re tired. However, exercise is a good way to lift your spirits and relieve the stress you might be experiencing, so you should make the effort to do something if you’re able. Pregnancy yoga is one way to exercise. It balances physical movement with meditation, so you will be able to relax your mind and body while still working out. Swimming is another way to exercise while pregnant, so get along to the pool, and join an aqua-natal class if you can. And go for a walk outdoors on a regular basis. Walking is an effective way to beat stress, and the sunlight and scenery around you can also benefit your mental health.
So, if you are pregnant, follow these suggestions. You will relieve your stress if you do, and that will be beneficial to both you and your little one.
Take care and thanks for reading!