Pregnancy is an exciting time that is often full of firsts with no shortage of emotions. It is common for expecting parents to experience a range of emotions, from pure joy to sheer nervousness. Because of the impending responsibility, the physical changes, and fluctuating hormones, stress is particularly prevalent and can be overwhelming. Despite this, stress can lead to a host of negative impacts for both the expectant mother and the unborn baby. Discover these helpful tips for coping with stress during pregnancy:
1. Practice Self-Care
While there is bound to be a lot of focus on the new bundle of joy, it’s crucial to remain committed to your own needs during pregnancy. Expectant moms should continue to eat a healthy diet, engage in hobbies that they love, pamper themselves and exercise. This can help retain a sense of normalcy and also helps to keep stress levels at bay. In most cases, it is perfectly fine to continue with an established exercise routine or prior hobbies while pregnant but be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure that these activities are safe.
2. Sleep When You Can
Your body undergoes a lot during pregnancy, which means that resting is more important than ever. Be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep overnight and nap during the day when possible. If you find that you have difficulties sleeping for long periods of time due to discomfort, invest in supportive pillows or experiment with positions.
3. Talk to Someone You Trust
It is crucial for pregnant women to have a strong support system. There are a lot of questions and fears that pregnant women may have that they aren’t comfortable discussing with their doctors. These fears can lead to increased stress levels but talking to someone you trust can help. For some women, this may be a friend who has young children or perhaps their own mother. By hearing the experiences of others and addressing concerns that you may have, some of the stress can be eliminated.
4. Ask for Help
Whether you are overwhelmed with household chores or tasks at work, asking for help can mitigate stress. In fact, some of your former responsibilities, like lifting heavy objects or cleaning your cat’s litter box cannot be done during pregnancy. Discuss the tasks you are struggling to get done with your partner or boss to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
5. Plan Ahead
If you find yourself stressed about the unknown aspect of when your bundle of joy will arrive, take control of the situation and plan ahead. While you typically have no control of when you go into labor, you can ensure that you are ready to go whenever the time comes. Many expectant mothers prepare hospital bags with necessities a month or two in advance so that they are ready to go to the hospital at any time. Likewise, you can prepare for the newborn phase by stocking up on diapers or cooking and freezing meals for those hectic days ahead.
While stress is a part of life and a common occurrence during pregnancy, there are ways to manage it so that you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy. If you find that you are still struggling to manage stress or are experiencing extreme levels of anxiety, be sure to speak with your doctor.