Managing Stress and Anxiety During Pregnancy
You should keep your chin up. The ideal option is to be protected from stress and serious emotional experiences during the whole nine months of pregnancy. But in real life it is hardly possible. After all, anything can happen.
Ways to Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
In cases of "unforeseen situations" you should know how to "manage your stress". Here is a selection of five different options that will help you to escape from sad thoughts and cheer up.
Go to the Gym or Work out at Home
Exercise during pregnancy contributes to reducing stress levels and improve the overall health status. You keep fit and get energy that helps you to be in tone and get rid of different ailments related to pregnancy.
Of course, it is important to select a proper work out program for pregnant ladies. Sport shouldn’t be related with high risk for the baby’s health (threat of injury, lack of oxygen, etc.).
List of exercises that are likely to fit you best:
- hiking or slow walking on the treadmill;
- quiet cycling on mostly flat terrain or riding a stationary bike without load;
- swimming and water aerobics;
- low impact aerobics (no sudden movements, tremors, jumps).
Select a "Maternity Consultant"
Often moms-to-be have stress as they don’t know what is normal in their situation. They start carefully examining every trifle and worry whether it’s normal or not. That’s why all women who are going to become moms for the first time are advised not only to consult a doctor, but also to find a “friend” – a woman who has already given birth or is also pregnant, but at a greater term than yours. Thus, you will be able to turn to an experienced mom for advice, and in this way reduce anxiety and tension. Down with prepartum depression!
By the way: nowadays forums for future moms are gaining more popularity. If you don't have pregnant women among friends, you can chat with other women at such a forum. But be sure to filter the information you get there!
Learn to Meditate
Studies have shown that meditation contributes to reducing negative impact of stress (and increase stress resistance), relieves pain, lowers blood pressure and heart frequency. Regular meditation can help to solve sleep problems. It helps to avoid insomnia, allows to fall asleep quickly and restore forces at night.
Before starting meditating, find a comfortable, roomy place where you will be comfy. Sit down, set the timer for five minutes (gradually increase the time of meditation up to 20 minutes). Put your hands on the belly, close your eyes and sit concentrating on your breathing until the timer switches off. That's all what you have to do!
Practice Relaxation Breathing, don't Forget About Your Breathing
We should mention about the regular practice of the so-called relaxation breathing (u.s. term "labour breathing"). If you practice this type of breathing from time to time, you will reduce stress levels during pregnancy.
Just put your hand on the belly and breathe with your "stomach" feeling like your hand rises and falls with each breath. After mastering this simple tool, slightly modify it: breathe deeply and take a small pause before exhaling. After exhaling count to four before making another breath.
Such breathing is also called "yoga breathing”. After 5-10 minutes of such exercise you will notice that your breathing slows down, the body relaxes and your mind gets rid of anxious thoughts.
Have a Massage
Everybody knows that massage is very healthy. It helps to relieve back pain, cramps in legs, headaches and solve other problems related to pregnancy. For example, it soothes and relaxes the nervous system, contributes to endorphin production. So you have a good reason to come up to your husband with a bottle of massage oil and give him a hint! Motherhood is a good reason for a massage!
Take Advantage of Aromatherapy
Some aroma oils help to relax, feel better and get rid of imaginary problems. If you do not have individual contraindications, you can handle stress using this method. During pregnancy you are “allowed” to use oils of grapefruit, bergamot, lavender, lemon, tea tree. Instructions: Grapefruit oil. Aromatherapy properties of the oil lift your spirits, cheer you up and help to overcome stress and its consequences.
It’s also known for relieving depressive state. Curiously, grapefruit oil has sedative and stimulating effect at the same time. It can alleviate premenstrual syndrome, migraine pain, reduce uncomfortable feelings during pregnancy, eliminate fatigue and headaches.