Concentrate On Your Breathing
Stress can have a major effect on your breathing. It can cause you to take shorter, shallower breaths which decrease the oxygen in your body. This shallow breathing, in turn, can cause your stress levels to rise as your body reacts to the lack of oxygen. Yes, its a vicious cycle, but you can take control by focusing on your breathing and meditating.When you feel yourself getting stressed, sit or lie down, close your eyes, and take at least five deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while paying attention to the rise and fall of your chest. As you breathe, try to relax and let your stress slip away.
Aim For At Least 8 Hours Of Sleep Per Night
Sleep is essential for mental well-being, but can be especially challenging during pregnancy. Pregnant womenâs sleep may be interrupted by feeling uncomfortable and frequent trips to the bathroom. Lack of sleep during pregnancy can both cause stress and also be a symptom of stress.8 If you are already feeling stressed, you might find your mind racing when itâs time to go to bed. There are steps you can take to try to improve your sleep, but if you continue to have a hard time, consider discussing this issue with your medical provider or a sleep specialist.
To improve the quality of your sleep, try to practice good sleep hygiene.9 This includes avoiding caffeine, sugar, and large meals before bed, not utilizing electronic devices in the evening hours, and making sure that your bedroom area is cool, dark, and quiet. If you need noise to fall asleep, opt for relaxing sounds or white noise, which are less stimulating than having a television on in the background.
Create a bedtime routine that includes laying down and waking up around the same time each day, including on weekends. Try to exercise earlier in the day, which can help you feel more tired during bedtime. Also, if you are having trouble falling asleep, avoid watching the clock. Instead, practice some deep breathing or mindfulness to help you feel more relaxed.
Attend A Pregnancy Support Group
Pregnancy support groups can provide you with a safe space to share your thoughts with a group of women who may be having similar feelings and experiences. They also allow you to give and receive feedback and advice from others. This can help you realize that your feelings are normal and provide you with different ways of thinking about or approaching a problem. Feeling supported during pregnancy can also help you after your pregnancy is over. One study found that having more support during pregnancy was linked to lower rates of postpartum depression.7
Support groups are usually run by a mental health professional or someone who is trained to run groups. You can attend local in-person groups or support groups online. In-person groups can provide you with an opportunity to connect face-to-face, while online groups can be helpful if you donât have a lot of time, feel anxious about attending in-person, or do not have any groups in your area. Either way, finding a supportive group to speak with can be beneficial.
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What Causes Stress In Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of tremendous physical, emotional and relationship changes. Even though most of us think of pregnancy as a time filled with love and joy, the reality is that any change comes with a lot of stress. When you’re pregnant your body has the challenge of growing a whole new person. That is stressful in itself and it comes with many emotional and psychological side effects too.
Your relationship with your partner has to adjust to welcoming a new family member and defining your new role as parents. You may have gotten on fine before pregnancy, but now you find you’re arguing more and snapping at each other.
During pregnancy, every emotion is felt more intensely, and you might find yourself crying a lot more than normal and then worrying if your crying is having a negative effect on your baby. .
Here are the most common causes of pregnancy stress.
Find As Much Help As You Need
If you feel overwhelmed with stress and worry despite your efforts, you should speak to your doctor about your feelings. Your obstetrician should be well aware of the effects of stress during pregnancy and can guide you to therapy or medication that can help. Symptoms of depression include sadness, excessive guilt, uncontrollable crying, and loss of interest. If you have these feelings every day for two weeks or more, you should reach out for treatment and guidance.
With all of the changes your body is undergoing, there is no need to blame yourself for feeling less than perfect during pregnancy. If you are struggling with stress management or are worried about the health of your developing child, reach out to us at Crystal Run Healthcare.
Our team is committed to womens health and wellness and can schedule a prenatal visit and lab work to help put your mind at ease. We have high-risk maternal-fetal medicine specialists available to answer all of your questions and help you prepare for a healthy and happy birth experience. Contact us today to gain access to the resources and support you need to truly relax and enjoy this time together.
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Stress During Pregnancy: Symptoms Affects And How To Cope
- May 24, 2021
Are you counting down the days in your calendar? Feeling frustrated with the challenge of finding a comfortable position? Getting a little upset that your favorite jeans dont fit the same anymore?
If you said yes to any of these, chances are you’re feeling a tad bit stressed out.
One thing to remember is that youre not alone. There are billions of other mothers and mothers-to-be going through the motions, similar to you.
Even though stress during pregnancy is completely normal , it can get in the way of a lot of things. Not only is it an inconvenience and a mood-killer, but its also unhealthy for you and your baby.
Lets talk about it
We know that there are some very obvious stressors that rise to the surface when expecting a child:
- The common discomforts that arise during different stages of your pregnancy, such as abdominal pain, heartburn, cramping, frequent urination, and fatigue.
- Trying to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and balancing your very own pregnancy diet throughout the journey
- The fear of delivering your baby and going through labor
- Navigating through physical transitions as you go through body changes
Even if youre the most excited you can possibly be now that youre pregnant, youll still find yourself getting stressed, just like the majority of mothers out there. Too much stress can take a toll on your wellbeing, and also your baby.
Conceptual Background In Stress And Coping Theory
Coping is defined as constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts aimed at dealing with the demands of specific situations that are appraised as stressful . In the context of pregnancy, coping efforts may influence birth outcomes by serving to minimize or prevent negative emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological responses to stressors. As a result, the ability to select and implement an appropriate coping response could serve as a resilience resource that buffers expectant mothers and their children from the potentially harmful effects of prenatal stress exposure. For example, those who cope by seeking emotional support or taking action to resolve the problem may have fewer deleterious effects of stress, whereas those who avoid dealing with the stressor or engage in adverse health behaviors such as smoking to reduce distress would have heightened vulnerability. Indeed, a large epidemiological study of 1,898 African-American and White women in North Carolina found that avoidant coping styles were associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery , fueling our examination of coping during pregnancy.
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Q2 How To Manage Anger During Pregnancy
Ans. Stress during pregnancy leads to anxiety, panic attack, or sometimes severe irritability or anger. To conquer your anger, meditating regularly can help you with anger issues as it calms your mind and keeps you relaxed. You can also try breathing exercises whenever you are feeling irritated or angry. Deep breathing increases oxygen level, which naturally helps you stay calm and relax.
Tips For Dealing With Stress During Pregnancy
To ease your mind once again, stress during pregnancy is completely normal and common! Experiencing stress during this time isnt a problem — That is, if you deal with it appropriately and find ways to manage it.
Now, take a breathe and brush up on some ways to manage your stress:
- Have a support system: You may feel alone in this since you are the sole person carrying your child. But remember that you have friends and family members around you who love and support you. Having people around you who are there to lend a helping hand, or are just there for you to talk to will make all the difference. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child.
- Sit back and relax: You need to learn when its time for you to take a step back from all your tasks and responsibilities, and just get your zen on. Taking the time to treat your mental health is extremely important. Meditating, exercising, staying active, yoga, and just doing something you enjoy will get your energy up and keep you positive.
- Eat right: Fuel your body and fill up with healthy and energizing nutrients. Maintaining a healthy diet will have a huge impact on your mood and will help to fend off stress during your pregnancy.
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Emotional Stress During Pregnancy Associations With Maternal Anxiety Disorders Infant Cortisol Reactivity And Motherchild Interaction At Pre
- 1Institute of Medical Psychology, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany
- 2General Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany
- 3Department of Psychology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Physical Symptoms Of Stress In Pregnancy
- Overeating or not eating enough
- Increased likelihood of consuming alcohol, nicotine, or other addictive substances
It’s normal to feel some amount of stress in our day-to-day lives. Stress motivates us to adjust to new situations and develop new coping strategies to face life’s problems.
But, when you are under stress for too long it is time to talk about what youre experiencing with your partner, midwife, a close friend, and/or family member. Especially if any of the symptoms listed above are very intense and last for more than two weeks.
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How Can You Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
Here are some ways to help you reduce stress:
- Know that the discomforts of pregnancy are only temporary. Ask your provider about how to handle these discomforts.
- Stay healthy and fit. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise . Exercise can help reduce stress and also helps prevent common pregnancy discomforts.
- Cut back on activities you dont need to do. For example, ask your partner to help with chores around the house.
- Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation. They can help you manage stress and prepare for labor and birth.
- Take a childbirth education class so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives. Practice the breathing and relaxation methods you learn in your class.
- If youre working, plan ahead to help you and your employer get ready for your time away from work. Use any time off you may have to get extra time to relax.
The people around you may help with stress relief too. Here are some ways to reduce stress with the help of others:
Talk To A Mental Health Professional
If your stress feels out of control and is interfering with your ability to function in daily life, or if you just could use some support managing your emotions, a mental health professional can help.
Therapyalone or in combination with medicationcan help you uncover the cause of your worries and fears, learn how to relax your body and give you the tools to manage your stress. If your doctor does recommend medication, know that there are options that are safe during pregnancy, Dr. Brimmage says.
A lot of women are used to pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and doing what needs to be done, and were seeing that in mothers all across the country right now, who are being really hard-hit by the pandemic, Dr. Schiller says. I think that self-care is really important, but also mental health treatment is available if it just feels so painful or unworkable.
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Stress Effects On Pregnancy And Birth
Prenatal stress can indirectly affect infant development and health by increasing the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes which are themselves predictive of substantial and ongoing challenges for affected offspring . Severe stress appears to have its greatest impact on birth outcome when it occurs early in pregnancy. For example, Carmichael and Shaw noted that major stress around conception resulted in increased risk of a woman delivering an infant with conotruncal heart defects, neural tube defects or isolated cleft lip, and Glynn et al. found that earthquake trauma had a greater negative effect on shortening gestational length if experienced early in pregnancy. Similarly, death of a loved one or a terrorist attack increased the incidence of adverse outcomes including pregnancy loss when experienced early in pregnancy.,
Summary of pregnancy and birth complications associated with prenatal stress
How To Cope With Stress During Pregnancy
There’s no doubt that pregnancy can be a stressful time in a woman’s life.
But for some women, the stress is exacerbated because some of the activities they would normally do to de-stress aren’t options a favorite food may be off the list, a glass of wine is out of the question, and even getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult when you can’t get comfortable and have to wake up to pee.
There are many factors that can contribute to stress during pregnancy, said Dr. Mary Kimmel, the medical director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Some of these stressors are external. For example, a woman may have conversations that lead her to worry or have anxiety about how her pregnancy is progressing, or she may feel the pregnancy is affecting her relationships, Kimmel told Live Science.
In addition, the biological changes occurring within a woman’s own body can also contribute to the stress.
Hormone levels change throughout pregnancy, Kimmel said. For example, levels of cortisol increase throughout pregnancy, she said. Other hormones, some of which play a role in appetite, can also change during gestation, she said.
Other biological factors such as the fatigue that may set in, or back pain as the baby grows can also add to stress, Kimmel said.
So, what’s a pregnant woman to do?
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Exercise Gently With Doctor Approval
Your doctor of obstetrics and gynecology can guide you to appropriate exercise programs that will not only keep you fit but will relieve physical and mental stress. Each womans needs are different and will change as they near delivery. Most often, these exercises are recommended for stress and pregnancy:
- Stretching and deep breathing for muscle and mind relaxation
- Prenatal yoga classes that may incorporate mindful meditation
- Walking, especially outdoors in the sunshine, which improves mood and healthy sleep patterns
- Swimming or water exercise, which is a calming activity in a weightless environment, easing sore joints and muscles
- Relaxation massage or other relaxing spa treatments
- In most cases, 20-30 minutes of gentle approved exercises daily are recommended as little as 10 minutes of exercise each day will often reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep
Tips For Reducing Stress During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, it is likely that you will experience stress at some point. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help yourself better cope with stress when it does come up. Taking care of your body and mind and seeking support and education are helpful ways that you can combat the impact of stress during your pregnancy.
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Pregnancy Stress And Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and it plays an essential role in the way your body responds to stress. In highly stressful situations, cortisol helps your body react quickly to the outside world by raising your blood pressure, speeding up your heartbeat, and making you ready to face the challenge.
However, the problem with modern day stress is that it is usually caused by threats and challenges that cannot be immediately solved. The physical readiness cortisol provides does little to help if your stress is caused by financial problems, relationship issues or workplace pressure. In fact, it causes more problems than it solves.
In pregnancy, there are many sources of stress, and if you are exposed to prolonged and intense stress, high cortisol levels can affect how your baby develops .
A Change In Our Normal Routines
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way daily life looks for all of us. Across the country, many leaders have taken action to help slow the spread of the virus. In some communities, this means closing businesses and schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state authorities have recommended avoiding social gatherings, that people stay home as much as they can and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of the disease.These new restrictions and rules are changing your daily life. This can make you feel isolated or confused. For new moms, caring for a new baby while feeling sore, tired and stressed can be a lot to handle. If you are pregnant, you may have many questions. Perhaps you may wonder how your labor will look like now that hospitals are managing cases of COVID-19. Or if you are able to get support from your partner, family member, or a doula while you are giving birth.
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