Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but it can also be a stressful time for the mom-to-be. Whether it’s all the different changes going on in your body, thoughts of your upcoming delivery or even financial worries, it’s very common for pregnant women to feel anxious from time to time. This anxiousness could display itself in many ways – from sleepless nights to compulsive thoughts, headaches, inability to focus on tasks or constant worrying. If you feel that your anxiousness is getting too severe and interfering with your ability to function normally on a daily basis, it’s imperative that you speak to your doctor immediately to address this situation. High-stress levels during pregnancy have been linked to premature births and low birth weight. However, a little anxiety is normal and can be resolved with a few simple steps. Take a look at some of our favourite destressing tips for pregnant women..
1. Make sure you’re getting quality sleep
Getting enough sleep during your pregnancy is vital for keeping stress at bay. But it’s easier said than done, especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Here are some tips to help you sleep better and longer:
- Get yourself more comfortable and reduce some of the pressure on your back and stomach by using extra pillows wherever you require support.
- While it’s important to keep yourself well hydrated, try and drink less water as night-time approaches so that you don’t have to make constant trips to the bathroom at night.
- Do something soothing right before bedtime, whether it’s listening to calm music, meditating or reading a good book. Many pregnant women enjoy a glass of warm milk before bedtime to help them sleep better.
- Avoid eating spicy, heavy and fried foods for dinner. Instead, eat smaller meals throughout the day. Wait for an hour or two after you eat to go to bed.
2. Pamper yourself with a warm bath or a foot soak
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a long, warm bath. Or soak those tired, swollen feet in a tub of warm water filled with Epsom salts and calming essential oils
3. Make lists and get organized with all your baby essentials
Getting prepared for the arrival of your baby can help reduce some of your anxiety. Make lists of all the baby essentials you will need and start getting organized.
4. Talk it out
The best way to deal with anxiety is to talk about it. Talk to your spouse or a close friend and voice your fears or concerns. If your anxiety is too severe, speak to your doctor and let them suggest an appropriate course of action.
5. Focus on eating well and staying hydrated
Getting the right nutrition plays an essential role in keeping stress away. Opt for a protein-rich diet and try and cut down on sugar and salt. Eat smaller meals frequently through the day and make sure you drink lots of water..
6. Try light exercises, particularly swimming
Light exercises daily are highly recommended for pregnant women, unless you have been advised otherwise by your doctor in case of special circumstances. You don’t have to do a high-powered workout, but you could take a long walk daily. Swimming is highly recommended as a relaxing exercise for pregnant ladies.
7. Get a massage
Treat yourself, ladies. You deserve it! If you’re not sure about going to a spa, get your partner or best friend to give you a gentle massage at home to relieve some of that tension and relax your muscles.
8. Indulge in a fun new hobby
Too many thoughts racing through your head as you prepare for this significant change? Get yourself a new hobby – something that helps relax your mind and distract you from your worries. Painting, knitting and reading are all known to be extremely therapeutic.
9. Meditate daily
10 minutes every day, that’s all you require. If you’ve never practiced meditation before, start with a few minutes at first and then keep building on that as you go along. New to this? There are a ton of meditation apps available right on your phone to help you get started.
10. Prepare for labour
Mentally and physically preparing yourself for labour can help ease some of your stress. Talk to your doctor about the process and ask any questions that you may have. Practice breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques that will help you stay calm when the time comes. Take an antenatal class to learn more about the process of childbirth.
Tell us how you helped reduce stress and stay calm during your pregnancy in the comments below!