Create New Coping Skills And Habits To Thrive During Pregnancy And Beyond
It can be startling to confront your reality and realize many aspects of your current lifestyle will need to change during and after pregnancy. Ask yourself:
If you need help navigating the choppy waters of change, dont hesitate to talk to a therapist. In fact, many people seek out couples therapy before they have their child to address these sensitive topics.
The 8 Best Ways To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy
If worrying about your pregnancy seems to be taking up all of your time, dont worry, youre not alone. All moms-to-be experience stress during pregnancyits normal. But if your stress becomes constant and overwhelming, thats when its time to get some helpnot just for your own health, but for the health of your baby.When youre stressed, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that prepare your body for the physical exertion of fight or flight. Eventually, these hormones dissipate and your body returns to its normal, balanced state. Sometimes though, like when youre stressed about giving birth, your stress levels dont go down. This can lead to a decline in your health and developmental problems for the fetus such as ADHD and even impaired cognitive development. Thats why its so important that you keep chronic stressthe kind thats with you day and nightto a minimum. To help you stay happy, healthy, and stress-free during your pregnancy, weve assembled the eight best ways to relieve stress during pregnancy.
Strategies For Dealing With Stress
Pregnancy in itself is considered a promoter of biological activation and regularly tops the lists of stressful life events. Half of pregnant women report experiencing more symptoms of anxiety and depression than before pregnancy.
There are several studies that note a positive relationship between a mother experiencing stress while pregnant and children with cognitive or linguistic disabilities .
Furthermore, studies also indicate that fetal development is extremely sensitive to changes in the mothers emotional state. So much so, that even small levels of stress can affect the fetus.
For these reasons, wed like to share a few strategies to help you control your stress levels starting today:
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Many Therapists Also Have Training In Using Essential Oils For Maternitywhat Are Essential Oils The Science
Essential oils are natural, concentrated, fragrant oils which have been extracted from plants. They have a complex chemistry, each with unique properties, that if used correctly can be used for emotional and physical problems.
Amazingly new studies have shown that unborn babies have the ability to smell from 32-34 weeks gestation.
TIP:It is not advisable to blend your own essential oils if you are not trained. They appear similar, but have different Latin names and chemical structure. You must take caution as to which oils you choose.
Midwives & Aromatherapists, who have been trained in maternity aromatherapy, know the chemistry and the proportions of these powerful elements that are safe to use for you and your baby.
Therapy For Pregnancy Stress
Therapy can be a beneficial treatment option for women dealing with pregnancy stress. Therapy involves meeting with a psychologist, social worker, counselor, or therapist either individually or in a group. It provides you with an opportunity to talk about how you are feeling and learn healthier ways to cope with your emotions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy are two types of therapy that are effective for treating depression during pregnancy.14 CBT helps you identify when you are having unhealthy or irrational thoughts and teaches you how to change them. IPT focuses on helping you improve your relationships, which in turn helps you improve your emotional state. Some therapists may also utilize other approaches, like psychodynamic or solution-focused therapy, to help pregnant women better cope with stress.
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Effects Of Stress On The Baby
Stress and anxiety during pregnancy may affect the babyâs behavioral, physiological, or immunological functions .
- Chronic stress during pregnancy may change the metabolism in the placenta and affect the growth of the unborn baby .
- Stress hormones during pregnancy alter the neurobiological development of the fetus, which results in slower growth and decreased cognitive development after the baby is born.
- Studies show increased risk of schizophrenia and decreased cognitive abilities in children whose mothers faced catastrophic stress, such as storms, during pregnancy.
- Infants of mothers who experience stress during pregnancy may be temperamental and more difficult to soothe.
- Studies show that stress in mothers during pregnancy may cause children to develop an irrational fear or have trouble paying attention .
- There is also a risk that unborn children may develop mental illness or physical illness, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or cardiovascular disease if the mother experiences prolonged stress during pregnancy .
Take It Easy How To Manage Stress During Pregnancy
Yes, lets face it pregnancy can be stressful regardless if you are expecting your first or next child. What is more, if you are during your first pregnancy, you may worry about the new situation you are feeling exciting and terrifying at the same time. Your body changes so quickly that you may have an impression that you are not controlling it. All these may result in increased stress during pregnancy that may affect the health of your growing baby. Especially dangerous is cortisol stress hormone, which can cause or badly affect babys development or even preterm labor. As mom-to-be I would like to share with you some easy ways to cope with stress during pregnancy and enjoy more this special time in your life.
New situation triggers stress. A perfect way to reduce it is to learn more about the pregnancy and what you can expect after your baby is born. Find other pregnant woman you can talk to about your concerns. Read some books and magazines to find out more about different scenarios of pregnancy. Do not be afraid to raise questions to your doctor or midwife. Realize what emotions you may feel. During pregnancy your mood can be driven by the hormones that flow in your body. Talk to your partner or friends about your feelings or treats so you can find peace. Do not let others tell you how you should feel or react. Every pregnancy is different and thats normal.
Stress During Pregnancy Ask for Help
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How Can Stress Affect My Baby And Me
Some people might also experience:
- obsessive thoughts
- eating problems
- trouble relaxing or winding down
Chronic stress could also cause problems for your baby. These can include effects on your unborn babys growth and the length of gestation . They can also increase the risk of problems in your babys future physical and mental development, as well as behavioural issues in childhood.
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How To Manage Stress During Pregnancy
Wow, Im having a baby! can quickly become Wow. I am the one having a baby.
The initial excitement of getting pregnant can sometimes turn into stress for expectant mothers. Concerns about your own health, your babys health, finances, and relationships can turn an otherwise hopeful, happy time to one of excessive worry. Dont let that happen. Take a preventive approach to managing stress during pregnancy to calm worry and make your experience a more positive one.
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Normal Stress Versus Too Much Stress
Normal stressors such as a deadline at work, a disagreement with your mom or having to sit in traffic are ok and should not create any problems in your pregnancy.
Long lasting or serious stress such as coping with relationship problems, or losing a loved one may lead to problems if not addressed. Some experts believe that long-lasting severe stress can negatively impact a pregnancy and possibly cause complications.
How Can You Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
Here are some ways to help you reduce stress:
- Talk to you provider about your pregnancy discomforts and know they are temporary.
- Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise .
- Cut back on activities you dont need to do or ask your partner to help with chores.
- Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation.
- 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:
- Have a good support network, which may include your partner, family and friends. Or ask your provider about resources in the community that may be helpful.
- Figure out whats making you stressed and talk to your support network about it
- If you think you may have depression or anxiety talk to your provider right away.
- Ask for help from people you trust. Accept help when they offer. For example, you may need help cleaning the house, or you may want someone to go with you to your prenatal visits.
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The Effects Of Stress
In pregnancy, stress exposure is associated with a higher risk for preterm delivery and lower birth weight. Preterm birth is the major cause of death and disability in children up to the age of five in Australia.
Children of mothers who were stressed during pregnancy show increased susceptibility to asthma and allergies during childhood, as well as higher rates of hospitalisation for infectious diseases such as respiratory illness and gastroenteritis.
Research has also focused on the consequences of stress during pregnancy on the childs later mental health and cognition. The children of mothers who reported multiple stressful events during pregnancy are more likely to develop behavioural problems throughout childhood. Studies also show reduced cognitive abilities in children whose mothers experienced a natural disaster while pregnant.
Mothers who were stressed or anxious during pregnancy are more vulnerable to developing postnatal depression, and stress during pregnancy can have long-lasting effects for the family as a whole.
Preterm Birth And Low Birth Rate
Another small study links stress to preterm birth delivery before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
Preterm babies are more likely to have developmental delays and learning disorders. As adults, theyre more likely to have chronic health problems, like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Also correlated is low birthweight .
On the flip side, premature infants are born every day, and most do quite well. The main point is to avoid adding risk factors like stress to your pregnancy if you can , because the fewer the risk factors, the better the outcome.
Unfortunately, in some instances, the effects of prenatal stress show up later sometimes, many years later.
One 2012 shows a possible link to developing depression as a teenager.
Of course, once your baby arrives you might find you have a whole new set of stressors.
If youre stressed caring for your infant, try to sneak in more sleep when you can and focus on healthy foods. Ask your partner to look after baby so you can do something for yourself like take a walk, journal, or talk to a friend. Know its okay to say no to too many visitors or prioritize your little one rather than a clean kitchen.
Now for some good news: It doesnt have to be this way. You can get relief. Here are a few ways you can calm yourself and help your baby:
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Tricks To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
There are a few simple but effective ways to help control stressduring pregnancy. In the following, we will review thesesolutions.
Practice mindfulness purposefully and without judgment.Mindfulness involves sitting and meditating or deep breathing.Several studies of mindfulness during pregnancy have shown thatmindfulness can help reduce depression, anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness also helps pregnant women better accept theirthoughts and feelings, less so. React to stress, avoid stressfulsituations, and be more prepared for childbirth.
You can practice mindfulness in a variety of ways. If you are abeginner, you may want to watch an online mindfulness video, listento meditation techniques in a mindfulness app, or take a meditationclass.
If you are an experienced person, you can find a relaxingenvironment. Sit back and take a deep breath. You can choose ananchor that can be anything that you can focus your attention on.
During this exercise you may find that your thoughts Emotionsand other senses appear, which is normal. Instead of judgingyourself by these thoughts or being distracted, try to turn yourattention back to the anchor. Your mind may be distracted severaltimes during the workout. To practice mindfulness, just try tofocus on the present and the future. This means being mindful.
The best activity you can do to reduce your stress is exerciseand meditation, and Pregnancy yoga is the best thing you cando.
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Attend A Labor And Delivery Or Newborn Preparation Class
For some women, stress during pregnancy is caused by the unknowns of the future. Pregnant women may feel overwhelmed thinking about labor and delivery or caring for a newborn. To help ease your concerns, consider attending a class that is designed to help you prepare for birth or motherhood. Women who attend birthing classes report feeling more positive and confident about labor and delivery.13
Many hospitals, birthing centers, and local midwives and doulas host classes for this purpose. If there are no classes in your area, you may be able to find one online. Attending one of these classes will give you an opportunity to learn more about what to expect and answer any questions that you may have. This can help you feel more certain about the future and confident moving forward in your pregnancy.
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You’re Already Stressed And It’s Not Even 9 Am
Brain going a mile a minute? Take a 5-minute break.
Learn to identify the moment when your stress level becomes overwhelming and at that moment, bring your awareness to your breath, says Sara Trapani, Registered Yoga Teacher, Bard College, Omega Institute. It’s as simple as noticing the natural pattern of your breath as it draws in and out through your nose. Close your eyes and take at least five, full breaths. As you breathe, notice the rising and falling of your chest, and relax your face and jaw. Practice this anytime, anywhereit will calm your nervous system and create an instant sense of grounding and regained control.
Expect And Accept Changes In Your Body
Stress in early pregnancy that is not relieved can grow more severe over time. Some women feel full of energy during the second trimester, but many do not. As the weeks go by, your body will change and your physical abilities will change with it. You may feel more emotional than normal as your system responds to varying hormone levels. Listen to your body and take time to relax and rest when needed.
Your appetite may change, and good nutrition is important throughout your pregnancy. Eat small meals throughout the day, and dont skip breakfast. Staying well-hydrated and full of available nutrients is good for the baby and can even your blood sugar, improve your mood, and help you cope with stress.
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Could Too Much Stress During Pregnancy Harm The Baby
Experiencing too much stress during pregnancy can have harmful effects on an unborn baby. Pregnancy stress is linked to complications like low birth weight and preterm delivery .5 These complications are concerning because they are also linked with infant death and health problems for the baby later in life.
Children exposed to stress in utero are more likely to have childhood diseases and major congenital malformations, which are birth defects that occur to the structure or functioning of certain parts of the body.3 Pregnant women who experience high levels of stress are also less likely to be proactive about their health. Women dealing with stress are more likely to smoke, consume large amounts of caffeine, and eat an unhealthy diet, which all can have harmful effects on the baby.
While stress poses serious risks during pregnancy, there are ways to prevent stress from harming your baby. By taking action to reduce your stress, you can minimize the likelihood of developing many of these complications.
How To Manage Stress Naturally During Pregnancy
Balancing multiple roles and demands while also managing life stressors and taking time for yourself is always difficult, but may be even more challenging during pregnancy. In our fast-paced world, advice to slow down and take time to relax while preparing for your babys arrival is often easier said than done. However, finding ways to keep stress at bay has numerous health benefitsincluding increasing the likelihood of a full-term pregnancy and reducing the risk of health complications for both mom and baby. The good news is that there are science-based strategies for managing stress and anxiety. The strategies for coping with stress during pregnancy can fit into your everyday life, including mindfulness-based practices, getting enough sleep and exercise, and making the most of social support.
Mindfulness is simply defined as being as aware of what you are experiencing as you are experiencing it, without judgement. Mindfulness is a great way to treat stress naturally during pregnancy. Research shows that mindfulness is linked to improvements in mood, depression, anxiety, sleep, interpersonal communication and self-compassion. During stressful times, mindfulness can help you calm your body, and appreciate the fleeting moments of your pregnancy. Three simple tips for starting a mindfulness-based practice include:
Enhancing Sleep Quality
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