Medication For Pregnancy Stress
Mental health medications, like antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers, may be prescribed for certain women who are struggling to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, or other emotional challenges during pregnancy.15 Research on taking these medications while pregnant is limited.
Certain medications do carry risks to the unborn fetus, so these medications are generally avoided. If your doctor feels that you may benefit from medication, they will consider the pros and cons and help you decide whether this is the right option for you. Be sure to consult with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner that specializes in working with perinatal mental health.
Take Care Of Yourself
Whenever I exercised in the morning, ate healthy, drank enough water, and got enough sleep, I usually felt great. The stress of pregnancy seemed most overwhelming when I was hungry, tired, and hadn’t taken care of myself. Yoga was particularly helpful for me – it gave me additional energy, helped me prepare for labor, and helped calm any troubled thoughts.
Your body is undergoing so many changes while you are pregnant that you need to take care of it, both for you and your growing baby.
Drink Someh Herbal Tea
Although you should be avoiding caffeine during your pregnancy, you can still enjoy a nice relaxing cup of herbal tea. If you already have a favorite calming type of tea, like chamomile, you can brew yourself a cup and spend a few minutes thinking just about drinking it and enjoying the taste. Peppermint is also a popular choice for stress relief since it contains menthol, which has properties that make you calmer and more relaxed. It can also help with indigestion, which some women experience during their pregnancies.
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Sip On Some Peppermint Tea
Something that a lot of people dont know is that peppermint tea is one of the best ways to calm yourself down. That is because menthol acts as a great muscle relaxant and sedative, it also helps remove stomach gas and relieve nausea. Peppermint tea is a great thing to be sipping on while you are home.
What Else Helps Anxiety During Pregnancy
- Engage in regular physical activity. In general, it is safe to engage in physical activity during pregnancy. However, if you are at risk for preterm labor or have pregnancy complications, consult with your doctor first.
- Ensure adequate sleep. Whether its a calming bedtime routine, pregnancy pillow, or a few nights in a bed away from your snoring partner, now is the time to learn what works for your sleep.
- Practice mindfulness.Research shows that mindfulness may reduce worries about labor, and it may even prevent postpartum depression.
- Journaling. Writing about your worries may help you brainstorm potential solutions, and it allows you to reflect on your concerns.
- Schedule worry time. We often worry because we do not want to forget something. Setting aside 30 minutes toward the end of the day provides you with a time to worry productively, but it frees you from holding onto your worries the rest of the day .
- Yoga, massage, meditation, and acupuncture. Finding relaxation techniques that work for you may take some experimentation but their benefits will continue even after the baby arrives.
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How Does Stress Affect Pregnancy
Stress during pregnancy can arise for a number of different reasons. People who are pregnant may feel stressed about their pregnancy, especially if they have complications like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. Pregnant women may also feel stressed by other unrelated issues like finances, work or school responsibilities, caring for other children, and conflict in relationships. Pregnancy is a time when a woman undergoes significant hormonal shifts, which may also contribute to an increase in feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.2
High levels of stress during pregnancy can have a physical and emotional impact on the mother. Mothers who are stressed during pregnancy have a higher risk of miscarriage and are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition that involves high blood pressure.3 Stress during pregnancy is also linked to depression and anxiety for the mother.1
Experiencing depression and anxiety during pregnancy is concerning because it increases the risk of postpartum depression, a form of depression that develops shortly after giving birth.4 Women dealing with stress during pregnancy may have a more difficult pregnancy and a hard time enjoying the experience of being pregnant.
Reducing Stress While You Are Pregnant
Its important to look after your mental wellbeing during pregnancy, just as its important to look after your physical health. When you are feeling well, content and happy, you are better able to manage stress. When your stress is managed, it is not likely to have any serious effects on you or your baby.
To reduce stress, you could try the following:
- Pay attention to the triggers that make you stressed and notice what happens when you feel stressed.
- Try to slow down, rest and dont put too much pressure on yourself.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to help keep you and your baby healthy.
- Talk to someone you trust about your concerns and how youre feeling.
Physical activity and relaxation can also help to reduce stress:
- Take part in regular exercise, suitable for pregnancy.
- Do yoga, meditation, breathing, or relaxation through classes, or using apps, videos or podcasts.
- Engage in a favourite distraction activity such as reading, watching TV or a hobby.
- Spend time with people who make you feel calm.
You dont need to cope on your own. Try to ask for help when you need it and accept peoples offers to help you.
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How Much Stress Is Too Much During Pregnancy
While everyones response to stress is different, there are a few warning signs to look out for:
- Constant worry
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- A sense that one source of stress is always replaced by the next urgent thing
- Habits like teeth grinding, nail biting, fidgeting, hair pulling, or skin picking
- Constant negative emotions such as anger, sadness, or fear
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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Follow A Workout Routine
Being pregnant may require you to stop doing intense workouts, but that doesnt mean you will not workout at all. Do some gentle exercises, even if it is walking, on a daily basis. You just need to keep your body moving. The endorphins released to give you a sense of stress relief making you happy and ecstatic.
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Describe The Stress With Colorful Language
The third step is to describe your stress with really colorful, descriptive language.
Where do you feel it in your body?What color is it? Is it hot or cold?
Answering these questions will help you feel stress and allow it, instead of resisting it and making it worse.
Paying attention to your body is the best way to allow the stress.
Conversely, one of the worst things you can do is stay in your head, blaming your stress on a circumstance outside of you.
Instead, turn the focus inward, and describe the emotion in your body with really descriptive language.
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Ask For And Accept Help
Wanting to know how to stay stress-free during early pregnancy, or really any stage of pregnancy? Ask for help help with dinner, dishes, errands, or whatever. And dont feel bad asking. Your loved ones want to help you, but some may not know how to ask or what to help with. So if someone does offer their help, dont tell them no.
Dealing With The Challenges Of Pregnancy
Lets face it: Pregnancy is uncomfortable. But with people on all sides telling you how wonderful it is to be pregnant, you may feel guilty admitting you feel stressed about all the physical changes involved. If you feel this way, youre not alone. Many women admit to feeling deeply ambivalent about the changes in their lives during pregnancy. Often these concerns yield to happiness when the baby arrives, but until then, some women feel like their lives and bodies are suddenly out of their control.
From morning sickness to hemorrhoids, major mood swings, intense fatigue, and dozens of pounds of weight gain, pregnancy changes let you know that youre no longer the boss of your body. And each new symptom may trigger a certain anxiety: Is this normal? Is my baby safe? Will I ever go back to the way I used to be?
Pregnancy also can trigger stressful relationship and family issues. Having a baby brings a third person into your romantic relationshipa third person whose needs take priority over everyone elses. In addition, a new baby invites more frequent visits from family, which may prompt discussions surrounding religion, finances, and even where to live.
Its completely normal to have mixed feelings about these life changes. Many people feel lovingly about a child, but also scared and unhappy about the changes involved. Take heart, thoughthere are ways to make the time during pregnancy easier. Two keys to managing stress and worry during pregnancy are:
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How To Calm Anxiety While Pregnant
The anticipation of motherhood is exciting, joyful, and sometimes a little bit scary. Its normal to feel apprehensive about all of the ways your world will be different once your baby arrives. Just as your body begins to adjust to the newness, another emotion or physical change appears to throw you through a loop, causing those anxiety symptoms to increase by the minute.
Youre not alone. Every new mom-to-be has been there. Even with strong emotional support, at times, it can feel that youre on your own while pregnant. Signs of anxiety during pregnancy may include:
- Heightened irritability and mood swings
- Muscle tension
- Excessive worrying or sense of anxiousness
- Trouble breathing
- Racing thoughts
Struggling with symptoms of anxiety is an unnerving feeling. For some, the feeling never goes away fully. For others, anxious feelings come and go with bad days mixed in with the good.
Either way, you dont have to power through or handle things by yourself. There are helpful ways for you to cope and various forms of treatment you can use to alleviate it when it starts to creep up again. The most important thing is to maintain your prenatal care regimen to keep you and your baby in a good mental health state.
Make Meditation a Daily Practice
Exercise to Benefit from Endorphins
Increase Communication for Positive Connections
Stay Consistent with Your Sleep and Self-Care
Focus on the Positive to Help Quiet the Mind
Get Started on a Stress-Free Path
Know What To Expect With Labor And Birth
Nervous, scared, anxious, overwhelmedthese are all normal feelings pregnant women feel. Knowing what happens during labor and delivery, though, like what you should expect with your body and the baby as well as your before and after care options, can help you feel more confident and at ease as you prepare to give birth. So read articles and books about labor and delivery. Attend birthing and parenting classes. Journal about your intuition to better trust your instincts once baby comes. Ask your OB or midwife questions. Write out a birth plan. Take a tour of the hospital or birth center youll be giving birth in.
What Can Cause Stress In Pregnancy
For some women, finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience in itself. You could feel like you have lost control or dont have enough resources to manage what youll be experiencing. Stress can come from having a pregnancy that is unplanned, or becoming pregnant after previous negative experiences with a pregnancy, birth or motherhood, such as a miscarriage or the death of a baby.
It can be stressful while waiting for the results of your antenatal tests, and dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy or a complicated pregnancy.
Pregnancy can lead to practical challenges, such as financial difficulties, moving house and job changes.
Emotional stresses, such as grief, such as a death in the family, past anxiety, depression or other mental illness, can cause more stress during pregnancy, as can drug and alcohol problems.
If more than one of the above are happening to you at the same time, you could experience even more stress.
How To Naturally Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
Sharing is caring!
Raise your hand if you feel like the world is going crazy and youre looking for ways to naturallyreduce stress during pregnancy and beyond? Raise em high sister!
These unprecedented times have shifted the way we are all caring for ourselves and our little ones, and many of us are trying to figure out what our new normal looks like.
As we all look for ways to stay healthy, stay productive, and most importantly stay calm, I think we can all appreciate natural ways to reduce stress that not only help us in our pregnancies, but also beyond as we tackle motherhood, the work space and even our marriages.
When was the last time you took time for self-care?
If you are sitting there and wondering how in the world you can find time for self-care then you, my friend, are the reason why Ive compiled such a hefty list.
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Can Your Stress Affect Your Fetus
Pregnancy can be a stressful time and you can experience a wide range of emotions. It is normal for you to occasionally feel anxious or fed-up, but if pregnancy stress is causing symptoms like sleeplessness, headaches, loss of appetite, or food binges, then you need to find ways to relax and unwind. Remember, pregnancy stress affects not just you but your baby, too.
How Does This Happen
What many of us have difficulty conceptualising is how something that is experienced in the mind can translate into both mental and physical health problems in the child. Some theories suggest physiological, metabolic and hormonal changes during pregnancy alter the course of fetal development, in effect programming the fetus to adapt and develop in a specific way.
Its suggested that experiencing stress results in increased circulation of the stress hormone cortisol, which then crosses the placenta to the fetus, changing the hormonal makeup and compromising fetal development, both neurological and physical.
Exposure to elevated cortisol could prepare the developing fetus for a world that the mother perceives as stressful. In this way, outcomes such as behavioural problems might be seen as adaptive. For example, if a child is programmed to survive in a world that is stressful, they must be hyper-vigilant to potential danger , hyperactive , prone to aggression if required to fight off predators, and more sensitive to their environment.
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How To Deal With Stress During Pregnancy
Youve got a to-do list a mile long and an ever-looming deadline your due date. No wonder your heart is racing. Not to stress you out more but reducing anxiety may help you have a healthier pregnancy, says Lindsey Longerot, MD, ob-gyn at The Womens Specialists of Houston at Texas Childrens Pavilion for Women. In fact, some studies have shown that stress reduction techniques may reduce the risk of preterm birth or low birth weight in babies.
Get more sleep
You know intuitively that more sleep equals less stress, but heres some scientific backup to help you justify the need for sleep. Sleeping allows your brain to restore neurotransmitters that can become depleted during wake times, explains Keith Eddleman, MD, director of obstetrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Also, he says trying to stay awake when youre tired and fighting the urge to nod off is a drain on the parasympathetic nervous system, which normally helps the body deal with stresses. Yeah, we know sleep is easier said than done, especially in the third trimester when youre really uncomfortable. But here are a few tricks: Keep your thermostat set to the low 60s, dont eat anything for two hours before bedtime and try a body pillow, which can easily adjust to help you find a comfy position.
Take a soak
A few rules: Keep the water warm, not hotespecially during the first trimester when baby is still developing. And skip essential oils that havent been cleared by your doctor.
How Are Problems Treated
Treatment for mental health problems may include:
- Prescription medicine. Always talk to a doctor before you start taking or stop taking any medicines during your pregnancy. If you take any kind of medicine for a mental health issue and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, tell your doctor. Donât stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines may cause problems for a growing baby, but stopping your medicine may make things worse. Your doctor can make a treatment plan that is best for you and your baby.
- Talk therapy. Talking one-on-one with a therapist can be a great way to manage stress, deal with depression, and ease anxiety during pregnancy. Finding a support group where you can share your concerns with other mothers who know what youâre going through also can help. Talking with a social worker or counselor can help you deal with money issues, worries over raising a child, or other stresses in your life.
- Other approaches. Many women find comfort in activities like yoga, exercise, and meditation. If youâre feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talking to a friend, family member, or faith leader can help you feel better.
Many moms feel anxious or depressed at some point in their pregnancy, and some may even need treatment for it. But a mental health problem doesnât have to be a problem for you or your baby. Get the help you need to feel better, and youâll be doing the best thing for you both.
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