Pregnancy is the most amazing experience a woman can ever have. Nothing compares to the feeling of carrying a little one inside you, feeling it move and kick, and then experiencing the birth of that baby, knowing that you done it on your own. You gave birth to a beautiful baby - that's something no man can ever do. But along with all the joys and thrills of pregnancy, come a few not-so-fun parts as well. Stress is a major factor in most pregnancies and an be dangerous if not relieved. Too much stress can lead to a premature birth or chronic anxiety which isn't good on your baby. If you seem to be one of the over-stressed moms-to-be, you certainly need to read these 7 ways to relieve stress while pregnant!
I think the most popular stress reducer would have to be yoga. It's so quiet and calming, not to mention the strength you gain while doing it! Doing yoga is harder to do with young children, but I would recommend possibly asking parents or in-laws to keep your children for a couple hours at least 2 or 3 times a week, so you can do your yoga in peace and quiet. Either that, or choose nap time, if you're lucky enough to get a decent nap out of your little ones. Another option would be to get a babysitter and go to yoga classes with a group. I prefer a solitary setting, but everyone is different. However you choose to do it, it's a great way to relieve stress, pregnant or not!
Another great way to relieve your stress is simply walking. One article I have read said that walking just 20 minutes can reduce your stress by changing your body chemistry and easing your nervous system. The more rhythm you keep by swinging your arms, the more you relieve stress. And it's beneficial to note that you don't have to walk really fast to get the same benefits. A simple, slow stroll is all you have to do to get the stress relief you deserve.
3. Reduce Your Sugars and Caffeine
Sugar and caffeine, though they're both delicious, do add to your stress, believe it or not. If you eat too much of these two ingredients, they deplete your body's natural supply of B-vitamins, which are vital to a healthy, less stressed you. If you are going to eat a lot of sugar and caffeine, it may help to actually take B-vitamin supplements.
My biggest stress trigger with my first child was my husband's lack of care for the small things of my pregnancy. From the beginning he had problems accepting it, which was part of the issue. But even after he had accepted my pregnancy, he was still very distant from a lot of what went on with it. For me, this was terrible. I wanted him involved, but more importantly, I need him to listen while I talked and shared my concerns. If your partner is willing to listen and be a part of your pregnancy, take advantage of this and talk. Be open and honest about your feelings. Share those twinges of fear, when you wonder what in the world you're going to do with a baby. Share your excitement over the first kick. Talk about everything. Don't keep it bottled up inside you. If, for whatever reason, you can't go to your partner with your concerns, find someone else, whether it me your mother, best friend or sister, and talk to them. Talking will relieve so much stress!
5. Don't Take on the World
Pregnancy is not the time to take on more work. It's not the time to prove that you can do anything a man can do and better. You're pregnant, and you're responsible for a life inside you. Forget climbing the ladder to fix the fan, forget working a job from dawn till dusk and then coming home to more work. Cut down on what you're doing and let others help. The more work you put on yourself, the more stress you're throwing on your back. Take these 9 months and the first 3 months of your baby's life to rest and relax and enjoy the little one. Then you can prove to the world that you can do anything. For now, rest!
6. Get Sleep
Sleep is something most women find harder to get while pregnant, but it's the time we need it the worst. If you're having trouble sleeping, look into the cause of your lack of sleep. Some can't get comfortable. If this is the case, one of those nifty prego body pillows may be your key to sleep. For others, it may be heartburn or indigestion that's keeping you up at night. It's a good idea to avoid eating at least one hour before bedtime to relieve night heartburn. If you can't find a solution, talk to your doctor or midwife about some other remedies for sleep, as it is very important to get plenty of sleep to reduce stress.
There are some wonderful massage therapists that are specially trained in the art of prenatal massage. They have special massage tables with a belly hole, and it's so comfortable! We have on located in our women's center at the doctor's office. Let me tell you, if all else fails to relieve your stress, simply book an hour with a prenatal massage therapist and your stress with disappear! There is nothing, NOTHING, better than a good massage to relieve stress!
So there you have it. 7 ways to relieve stress while pregnant, and they're all simple to do. All it takes is the knowledge and the desire to do it. Good luck with your pregnancy! Do you have any other stress reducers you found helpful when pregnant? Please leave a comment below and share!
Top Photo Credit: Alex Bramwell