It’s a story we’ve all heard over and over again. For most cases, at first, it is always the absence of the big P, and the next thing you know, you are nursing a growing baby inside of you. And just like any good story, people like to tell it in different ways, which necessarily doesn’t mean any of them is wrong. In fact, the experiences are often at polar ends. Some pregnant women complain about how hard it is to get up and breathe in the clean, early morning air, and you see others bouncing up and down like a growing toddler.
Regardless of the occasionally striking differences, the point, however, still remains that stress is a thing all have to deal with one time or the other. Even if it’s just a bit of it. For a first-time pregnancy case, it’s very natural to worry about how much the budding infant in you is changing your lifestyle.
Stress is never a good thing for a pregnant woman. Experts had made it known how adverse the effects could be.
Unhealthy Stress vs. Good Stress
It’s unavoidable. One day or another, the stress will come knocking, and you will have to grind your teeth quite a number of times. Pregnancy puts you through a whole journey of emotions, some you never even had. You got to worry about your delivery, changes in eating patterns, ever-consistent mood swings, so yes, stress can come. And it’s not always a bad thing.
Some stress can be helpful. It keeps you alert, prepared for what’s coming, and gets you through challenging times. So, it can be good. The long-term, intense stress, though, is the one you might need proper guidance with.
The regular stress is when you worry about finishing your baby’s nursery or how to make a work deadline work out. There can also be little stress of some recurring headaches or how you quickly lose interest in things you once find exciting. They are the everyday stress one faces during most pregnancies. The ones that make you want to turn to a coping mechanism are the ones you might want to look out for.
When the stress gets too severe, your mental health is bound to be affected, and this puts both your baby and you at risk. Depression can slip in, anxiety likewise, is almost inescapable.
The unusual rise in a pregnant woman’s stress contributes a lot to high blood pressure and possibly heart disease. This ultimately could cause some chronic disorders. The more drastic consequences can be a miscarriage, premature delivery, a baby with low birth weight, and developmental delays in the baby.
How to Manage the Stress: Five Key Steps Needed for a Stress-Free Pregnancy
As earlier stated, stress can be inevitable for most parts but when well-managed, it can prove to be stress-free experience. In clear-cut words, the basic way to get this done is to simply relax those nerves. Relax. You can get a lot of the burden lifted by solely getting involved in the most natural and practical things that helps you relax.
Below we will be going through some key yet basic steps that can help keep your mood lifted through the whole nine months experience.
Indulge In The Things You Enjoy
You already have a baby growing inside you; you really don’t want to add to that stress. Take time-out for yourself. If it’s a short walk you enjoy or a warm bath that lasts longer than necessary, go for it. You deserve to close those eyes and chill out to some soothing music. Whatever works best for you, be kind to yourself.
It’s very common to get lost in your worries about what people think or how you feel about your pregnancy. Getting into the present can go a long way to help. Researchers have shown that mindfulness helps with depression, stress, or anxieties during pregnancy.
Mindfulness is simply reminding yourself of the little things. It is taking in the moment, reveling in your present state of mind and the surroundings around you. It keeps negative thoughts away and helps keep you sane. Yoga and some other practices are great ways to help with your breathing and movement too.
Either by paying more attention to the baby kicks or enjoying the sun falling over your face, mindfulness helps keep your mind light.
A Little Exercise Can’t Hurt
A bit of low-impact aerobics helps. You don’t have to hit the gym or take on any major sports, but you need to be active no matter how little the effort is. Exercise helps release endorphins, which can help lift your mood. You can try dancing, taking a walk or even swimming. They all help with the baby’s activeness and yours. You can always check with your midwife to know the type of exercises you could go for.
You should note that you won’t always feel up to it. Whether taking a few minutes break from work or taking some pregnancy yoga classes, you need to develop a bit of exercise habit in your daily life.
Rest And Eat Well
This surely cannot be over-emphasized. You deserve the rest. Due to the fear of letting others down or being whiny about their state, many pregnant women tend to do more than they can afford to do. Do not be afraid to tell them no. It can get tricky, but remember, getting uncomfortable or tired will only increase stress.
Eating well is also an excellent measure to take if you want to take a pause on the stress level. You need the right food in your system to keep you active. Also, no matter how tempting it is to let go, never forget the rules— zero liquor. Try to cut down on the caffeine too.
Talk To People
The hype doesn’t work for everyone. Many people feel it differently from you. If it’s your first time being pregnant, it might be hard at first to get a grasp of what is going on with your body. No matter how weird or different it is to what you’ve heard, never be afraid to talk about it. Not every pregnant woman you see is doing just dandy with their pregnancy even if it seems like it; hence, you shouldn’t allow that to keep you down.
Talk to your midwife or partner about how you feel. Go online or watch videos about things related to you. You tend to feel better when you know what to expect and what is going on with you.
Even if the other pregnant woman next door doesn’t particularly feel the same way you do, you don’t have to freak out. All you have to do is speak to a professional and hear what they have to say regarding it. Having group sessions with other pregnant women can also help.
Stress is common to everyone, pregnant or not; however, how one deals with it is the major player that distinguishes the experience one ultimately gets. Whether it’s your first time being pregnant or not, always remember it’s all right to close your eyes and take a deep breath every once in a while.
Hi – I’m Alina and I am a soon to be mom going through the journey of becoming a parent. I am a writer at heart and I love sharing about pregnancy tips and other busy mom hacks.