Discovering that you’re expecting can be thrilling, but pregnancy also generates anxiety. While your body is undergoing extraordinary changes to nurture and protect your baby, those changes can also create stress. Weight gain, exhaustion, nausea, and the aggravation of frequent urination add a lot of pressure to what should be a blissful experience.
As soon as you tell family members and friends, you’ll be the subject of intense interest. It’s important that you learn ways to deflect attention that makes you anxious. Learn self-care strategies to reduce stress during pregnancy.
Too Much Stress Is Bad for You and Your Baby
There is an industry built around reducing stress, from yoga studios to mindfulness and meditation apps for your phone. The adverse effects of stress are subject to a lot of publicity. You’re probably aware that too much stress can lead to high blood pressure, insomnia, and worrisome weight loss or gain.
Add stress to pregnancy, and the harmful effects can impact the developing baby. Too much stress during pregnancy can contribute to low birth weight or premature birth. Stress makes it harder for insulin to do its job of cleaning up excess blood sugar, elevating blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which is a severe complication in pregnancy.
What Causes Stress During Pregnancy?
Life doesn’t come to a screeching halt because you’re pregnant. The everyday stresses of work, relationships, and money are still there. But pregnancy bathes your ordinary worries in a potent hormonal solution that has you giddy one moment and sobbing the next. Couple that with the physical changes and discomforts of pregnancy, and your stress levels can soar.
Anticipating being a single parent and going through pregnancy alone are major stressors. Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on relationships, even those you think are rock solid. It’s not unheard of for couples to divorce during pregnancy or for unmarried partners to reassess their relationship. Pregnancy can reveal cracks in a couple’s commitment to each other that make it an even more stressful time.
Ways To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
All the usual stress-reduction tactics take on added importance during pregnancy: eat well, get plenty of rest, exercise appropriately, meditate, and breathe. Listen to your physician’s advice about keeping yourself healthy during pregnancy.
Building a robust support network is also critical to reducing stress during pregnancy. Don’t be reluctant to ask for and accept help.
Educating yourself about what your body does during pregnancy and childbirth can also help. If you go through your pregnancy knowing what to expect, you’ll feel ready for stressful changes as they occur.
Reducing stress during pregnancy is vital for you and your baby. Take a deep breath, enjoy a leisurely walk out in the fresh air, or schedule a massage. Treating yourself well during pregnancy isn’t an indulgence—it’s a responsibility to yourself and your little one.