Now that you’re pregnant, you might feel like you’re on a roller coaster — one moment you’re daydreaming about rocking your sweet-smelling baby, the next you’re panicking over how you’ll actually take care of him (or her). Add to the mix your raging hormones (which can do a number on your state of mind) and the physical stress — and sometimes discomfort — of your growing belly (and back…and legs), and it’s no wonder that you are sometimes an overwhelmed mommy-to-be. ~What To Expect
If you feel that stress is on the rise, here are some ways to cope:
1.Rest When Needed and Feel Good About It
It’s good for you and your baby to relax, so don’t feel guilty about it. Take time out to focus on your bump. Chat and sing to your unborn baby. From about 23 weeks, he can hear you! This will also help you to bond with your baby when he’s born.
Listen to your body. If you’re feeling exhausted, go to bed early. Your body is working hard to nourish your growing baby and you need all the sleep you can get.
If you’re a mom you’ll already know that it can be hard to get a break. You do deserve time to yourself. Ask your partner, a friend or grandparents to look after your child or children for an afternoon.
We know you want to do it all, but this is your time to focus on your baby and protect your health for both of you. Resting when you feel tired and realizing it’s okay and that it does not make you weak, can go a long way in reducing stress!
2.Stretch it Out
Stretching loosens tight muscles and releases anxiety from your body. FitPregnancy has some chair stretches you can do, even with that expanding belly.
Taking just a couple of minutes for some deep breathing and gentle stretching during a hectic day will help instill the mental clarity to organize your thoughts, says Kim Watters, Fitness Manager at Red Mountain Resort in Utah. Here are her three favorite office-friendly stretches. Hold each one for at least 20 seconds.
Abs and side stretch: Sit near the front edge of your desk chair. Lengthen your arms overhead and exaggerate your reach. Now stretch up through your right hand, lengthening the right side of your body more while pressing down with your left heel. Switch hands and repeat to the other side.
Neck stretch: Sit near the front edge of your chair. Raise your shoulders and press down. Repeat a few times. Then roll them forward, up, back and then down. Repeat a few times. Turn your head as far to the right as possible. Repeat to the left. Now, tilt your head to the right and then repeat to the left. Finally, tilt your chin down and then pull it in towards the chest.
Back stretch: Sit forward on your chair with your legs a little wider than your hips. Lean forward from the hips and drop your torso down so your head is resting between your thighs (or close, if you’re expanding belly is limiting you!). Let your head and arms hang down toward the floor.
3. Talk it Out
Having a support group is a wonderful way to de-stress. Find some ladies who are also pregnant. You can vent, provide each other with resources and tips, even take a walk or share a meal.
Share the joys, problems, and worries of pregnancy with someone close to you. This can make your pregnancy seem less stressful. If, for some reason, you do not have the support of your partner, try to spend time with other people whose company you enjoy. ~BestHealthMag
4. Attend Birthing & Parenting Classes
Getting prepared for birth and after can relieve much of the anxiety you may feel. You will learn about pregnancy and childbirth, and likely realize that all the emotions you are experiencing are normal. Know that you are not alone.
Attend prenatal classes and meet other women going through pregnancy, too. The breathing and concentration exercises you will learn for childbirth can help you relax now. By knowing what to expect and being prepared, you can reduce any worry you may be feeling about the birth itself. Working with your health-care provider and support person to prepare a birth plan may help, too.~BestHealthMag
5. Prepare to Cut Back
Accept the fact that even if you currently can thrive on your busy and demanding lifestyle, you likely will not be able to sustain it as the pregnancy progresses and makes more physical demands on you. Therefore prepare yourself to cut back on what you’re doing and to allow yourself more time for rest and relaxation. You will need to sleep more. You will need to change the time you allot for meals to make sure that you can eat a balanced diet. You will feel better if you allow time to engage in a reasonable exercise program. Finally, you will need to allow yourself some “mental growth” time. This is time for reading, thinking, and planning for the new, incredibly important role of mother you will soon assume. ~About.com Health
6. Get Pampered
If there is any time that you deserve to get pampered it’s now! A massage is good for you and the baby. Think of it as a health investment, not just an indulgence!
Massage is a great way to relieve stress while also easing any physical discomfort. After a massage, you should be left feeling relaxed and stress-free. Most masseurs offer prenatal massages specially tailored to the needs of pregnant women. It’s important to tell the masseur you’re pregnant when you book the massage. Check out our massage therapists in our products and services directory. ~bellybelly.com.au
I know it sounds too simple, but you would be surprised how shallow we normally breathe. Practicing meditation and breathing exercises can keep you stay calm.
Some women find meditation an effective way of keeping stress at bay. Clearing your mind, even for just 15 minutes a day, can help to prevent the physical effects of stress. Some people prefer to meditate first thing in the morning, but others use it as a way to unwind after work. Once you’ve learned the technique, you can practice it in your everyday life as a sure way to combat stress throughout the day. ~bellybelly.com.au
8. Talk to Your Doctor
Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor that you are feeling a bit stressed. Pregnancy is a marvelous, yet somewhat scary time, and it’s only normal to be a bit uneasy. Your doctor may be able to offer some suggestions.
Your doctor may have resources to help you manage stress including support groups, fitness plans specific to pregnancy, or counselors trained in helping women cope with all of the changes they experience during this phase of life. ~foxnews.com/health
What has been your “go-to” stress reducer? Share with us so that other moms can get help too. We’re all in this together!