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
Symptoms Of Stress During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women experience stress at some point during pregnancy, but stress affects each woman differently. For some people, stress may present as physical symptoms such as nausea and headaches. For others, stress may present as emotional or mental symptoms. Stress itself is not a mental health disorder, but if stress persists and gets to the point of interfering with a persons life, then it may lead to a mental health condition like anxiety.
Some symptoms of stress during pregnancy include:4
- Body aches and pains, including headaches and stomachaches
- Low libido
You Have A Million Things To Do Before Baby Comes
Meditation may help you to sort through the things that really must be done before baby, and what can wait, says Marci Howard-May, Spa Services Manager at Red Mountain Resort. By letting go of overwhelming thoughts you can focus on one item on your list at a time instead of thinking of all of them. Yes, the crib, car seat and stroller are important before junior arrives, but the entire nursery doesn’t need to be decorated to perfection right now.
Do a brief calming meditation, then pick up a pencil and write a list of what you feel are the most important tasks you need to accomplish, suggests Trapani. Remain relaxed, and create a clear strategy on how to complete the task that will give you the biggest sense of relief when completed.
“By taking those few minutes to breathe, focus and relax, you can reduce that sensation of being overwhelmed and make yourself be more productive,” says Howard-May.
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Extreme Anxieties Depression Support Groups
Being overly anxious and stressed all the time is unusual and only affects a very few pregnant women, but can cause problems. If you talk to your midwife or GP, they will help you, by referring you to a support group, counsellor or a psychotherapist.
Please get help when you are pregnant, as all the support can be set up for when you have given birth.
If you are taking medication for depression, talk to your midwife or GP if you are worried about any affects it has on your baby, but dont suddenly stop your medication.
Massage and aromatherapy can be very useful to alleviate stress and anxieties. Massage during pregnancy will not only benefit you, but your partner as well. This will make them feel part of the whole pregnancy and make you feel that you are not doing this on your own.
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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.5
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.6 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.7 Women dealing with stress during pregnancy may have a more difficult pregnancy and a hard time enjoying the experience of being pregnant.
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Wondering How To Manage Stress During Your Pregnancy
Those stressful feelings can be defused with lifestyle and mind-set changes, making your well-being and your babys development a center point of your routine. Growing a child is a full-time job. Letting other things take a lower priority is not only natural and right, but it is a healthy decision within your control.
First, some things to avoid include withdrawing from people, sleeping excessively, and eating empty calories. Inactivity and self-isolation may be signs of the problem developing. Lets look at some of the ways that women are finding time and space to focus on relaxation during pregnancy.
What Causes Heavy Bleeding During Pregnancy
If you are having heaving bleeding while pregnant, then you should see your doctor immediately. If your pregnancy is before 24 weeks, its likely you have miscarriage.
- Do you feel pregnancy symptoms and signs?
- Do you have heavy blot clots
- Do you feel like fainting with severe abdomen pain?
However, if you experience heavy bleeding after 24 28 weeks, then its likely due to placenta previa.
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Stretch To Feel Better Fast
The hormones that are released when you get stressed can cause your muscles to tense up and tighten. Stretching is a great way to counteract this tightness and relieve stress during pregnancy.If you feel yourself getting anxious or nervous, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to stretch your neck, your back, your arms, and your legs. Stretch your neck by tilting your head so that your left ear moves toward your left shoulder. Pause when you feel a stretch and hold this position for twenty seconds. Be sure to breathe deeply to help your muscles relax. After twenty seconds, slowly move your head back to its normal position. Then tilt your head to the other side and hold for twenty seconds.
Do Some Moderate Exercises
This may not be how you relieve stress during early pregnancy. Most women dont have the energy to exercise during their first trimester. But usually, you get your energy back during the second trimester. So whenever you feel like it, try some moderate workouts. Even if you dont, make yourself a few times a week. Go on a walk. Swim a few laps in a pool. Bike around your neighborhood. Exercising releases endorphins. Endorphins not only reduce your perception of pain, but they also produce positive or feel good feelings.
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The Worry: You May Have Accidentally Harmed The Fetus Before You Knew You Were Pregnant
No doctor would recommend that a woman have a margarita or smoke cigarettes during pregnancy. Still, moms-to-be often do these things before they even realize they’re carrying. “Although there is no amount of alcohol that is considered safe for a growing fetus, if you had one or two drinks in the weeks before you knew you’d conceived, it shouldn’t affect your baby’s organ development,” says Dr. O’Brien — so don’t stress out about it.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Alcohol crosses the placenta to the fetus, and in large quantities it can cause mental retardation and learning, emotional, and behavioral problems as well as birth defects. And women who smoke during pregnancy have a significantly greater chance of miscarrying, giving birth to a stillborn, or losing a newborn due to sudden infant death syndrome than nonsmokers do. Their infants also tend to be born smaller, more restless, and more likely to develop learning problems as they grow older than those of nonsmoking moms. With all the stress that comes with getting prepped for your little one, giving up smoking might seem especially tough — but you’ve likely never had a better reason either. For support and information on ending the habit, visit parentsquitforgood.com.
Tips For Managing Stress And Pregnancy
Here are some tips for managing stress during pregnancy.
Health and lifestyle
- Do some exercise, like walking. As well as lowering stress, it has overall health benefits.
- Try to rest where you can, and avoid booking in too many activities. Its OK to lie on the couch, take a break and slow things down.
- Do some activities that distract or engage you, like reading, watching your favourite TV show, baking, painting or something else you enjoy.
- Try to take pressure off yourself to be perfect. Accept that youre doing the best you can. Try not to worry if things arent quite the way you want them to be for example, if your house is messy.
- Ask for practical help or say yes when someone offers practical help during pregnancy and after your baby is born.
- Try yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or relaxation. If you cant get to classes, you can look for online videos or use a smartphone app.
Family and friends
- Spend time with people who make you feel good and help you de-stress.
- Ask for and accept help with things youre struggling with. Support from people around you can help you manage stress.
- Consider asking someone to be gatekeeper that is, if you have trouble saying no or slowing down, ask your partner or someone close to you to say no for you.
- Connect with other expectant parents for example, you could use social media to connect with other parents or parents-to-be.
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Sexual Intercourse During Pregnancy
If youve had intercourse and notice pregnancy bleeding, then it may be the cause.
How does intercourse cause bleeding in pregnancy?
During pregnancy, there is an increased blood supply to the cervix and vagina. This causes your vagina or cervix to easily bleed during intercourse or little trauma. Also, because of increased hormones during pregnancy, you may have bleeding too. If youre worried about your increased discharge or bleeding after intercourse when pregnant, then you shouldnt.
What should i do if i bleed after intercourse?
Most bleeding after intercourse may come out as brown spotting or discharge. It usually resolves in few hours or days. However, if bleeding becomes persistent, then you should inform your doctor.
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.
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What Causes Cervix Bleeding During Pregnancy
If youve had pap smear, intercourse or during a pelvic examination when your doctor visualizes your cervix then it can cause bleeding. If there is a cervical polyp, you may experience bleeding too.
Why does this happen?
During pregnancy, the cervix becomes well vascularized and can easily bleed from slight trauma.
The Worry: You Could Go Into Labor Early
The thought of a fragile preemie in an incubator, hooked up to a slew of machines, can be haunting to expectant moms. But in reality, nearly 90 percent of babies born in this country arrive full-term. What’s more, many babies born prematurely actually arrive between 34 and 37 weeks — which is considered “late preterm.””Babies born during this time generally do quite well,” assures Barbara O’Brien, M.D., a perinatologist and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, in Providence.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Carrying multiples and already having given birth to a preemie both increase your chances of having a preterm birth . Doctors advise that all pregnant women, even those who are nowhere near their due date, become familiar with the signs of premature labor . If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor can give you drugs to try to stop the labor, explains Dr. O’Brien. “We can also administer steroids to help the fetus’s lungs develop faster, in case he’s born early.”
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What Types Of Stress Can Cause Pregnancy Problems
If managed well, a little stress can help you take on new challenges. Regular stress during pregnancy, such as work deadlines, probably doesnt add to pregnancy problems.However, serious types of stress during pregnancy may increase your chances of certain problems, like premature birth. Most women who have serious stress during pregnancy can have healthy babies. But talk to your health care provider if you have these types of stress:
Labor Is Freaking You Out
First, remember that every pregnant woman is nervous about delivering her baby . Watters suggests this meditation exercise to help you get in tune with your body:
Get in a comfortable position, either seated or lying down on your side. Tense one area of your body for 2-3 seconds and then let that area relax. Move from your toes up to your face, tensing and relaxing each area.
This will come in very handy when you’re in labor, because it’ll help you learn how to relax all areas of your body, conserve energy, and make the work of birthing your baby easier. The breathing exercises can also help you focus and relax. Visualizing an easy and smooth delivery can be very powerful, reassuring and relaxing when that anxiety arises.
Here are a few more calming tips to use in any situation:
Create a mantra. Mantras are simple phrases you can recite to yourself to change a limiting belief in any situation, and reduce stress. When you become overwhelmed, find a mantra that you can repeat at any time to ease anxiety, suggests Trapani. Create an encouraging statement like, “I am completely ready to take care of my baby”. Once you choose a mantra, say it to yourself silently over and over whenever anxiety pops up.
Try lavender essential oil. Keep it in your purse and put a drop on your wrist. Rub your wrists and hands together and massage the back of your neck and tops of your shoulders when you feel stressed.
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Can High Levels Of Stress In Pregnancy Hurt Your 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.6 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.
Anxiety And Your Baby
Well-meaning friends may have told you that you need to stop worrying because it isnt good for the baby. While their sentiment comes from a good place, you may feel like stopping the cycle is easier said than done. Still, research shows that there is good reason to get your anxiety under control.
High levels of anxiety during pregnancy are associated with a risk of developing conditions like preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight.
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What Should I Do If I Have Heavy Bleeding While Pregnant
Inform your doctor. If due to miscarriage and the baby is alive, your doctor will encourage bed rest with ultrasound to monitor your pregnancy. If your baby is not alive, your doctor will evacuate products of conception to stop bleeding.
In addition, if your bleeding is severe, blood transfusion may be necessary to prevent anemia in pregnancy.
Taking Care Of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. If you’re feeling worried, you’re not alone. Worry is common, especially during a woman’s first pregnancy or an unplanned one. It can be even harder if you’re dealing with depression or anxiety.
If you’re feeling worried, sad, or nervous, talk to someone about it and know when to reach out for help.