It would be great if all the things that cause you stress simply disappeared during your pregnancy, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Not only do you have to combat your day to day stressors, but pregnancy brings new anxieties of its own, like body changes, pregnancy discomforts, and the huge responsibility of bringing a new life into the world.
Throughout history, women were told to rest throughout their pregnancies, spending much of their time indoors and off of their feet. Nowadays, most of us try not to let our pregnancies affect our day to day routines, and we try to do everything we normally do for as long as we can. After all, pregnancy is a normal and natural process, right?
Yes, pregnancy is a normal and natural part of a woman’s life. But we have to admit that our bodies work a lot harder when we’re pregnant than they do during other stages of life. Your body absolutely needs less stress and more rest for your health and the health of your baby.
Combating stress during your pregnancy should be a priority, not a luxury. Here are 11 ways you can reduce stress during your pregnancy to give your body the extra rest it needs.
In This Post:
1. Learn to Take it Easy
Now is the time to start listening to your body. When your body is telling you to take it easy, listen to it. Relax, sit down, and put your feet up or take a short nap. Don’t push yourself until you’re exhausted! That’s not good for you or your baby. If you need a break, ask your partner, a friend or a family member to tend to your other children while you rest.
If you get that urge to clean everything that often comes with pregnancy, try not to overdo it. This is not the time to give your house a major spring cleaning. Of course, you’ll still want to take care of the essentials, but save the big projects for after the baby comes. If there’s something major that really needs doing, enlist your partner’s help to get it done.
2. Have Regular Prenatal Massages
If you’ve never had a massage before, now is a great time to give it a try. Experts at the Yinova Center, who offer the best prenatal massage in NYC during your first trimester, tell us that having regular prenatal massages throughout all stages of your pregnancy promotes relaxation, and reduces the stress, mental strain, fatigue, and anxiety that can be so common during this time.
That’s all wonderful, but there are other benefits as well! Studies show that prenatal massage can reduce the need for pain medication and epidurals during delivery, shorten delivery times, and reduce the need for C-sections.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Exercise
When you’re tired and achy, you may not feel like doing much, but you really should give exercise a try. It’s great for reducing stress, boosting energy levels, and improving your mood. Don’t be afraid to exercise as long as it’s ok with your doctor. Swimming, prenatal yoga, and walking are all wonderful ways to get moving during pregnancy.
4. Spend Time in the Fresh Air and Sunshine Each Day
Spending time in the fresh air and sunshine each day is great for your mental health. Go for a short walk if you feel like it, or just sit in a comfy chair for a little while. Be sure to take precautions against sunburn if necessary.
5. Ask Questions
Pregnant women have tons of questions and concerns, especially the first time around. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor lots of questions and do your own research to learn everything you can about being pregnant, giving birth, and taking care of your newborn. It will ease your mind and anxiety levels. Try to keep an ongoing list of questions to ask your health care provider at your next visit so you don’t forget anything. And of course, family and friends with children, pregnancy books, and websites are all great sources of information.
6. Talk About It
Talk about your concerns with your partner and close friends or family members. Sharing your anxieties can reduce your stress levels and put your mind at ease. You could even join a mom’s group in your area to find other women to share your experiences with.
7. Relax in a Warm Bath
Showers are great, but a warm bath can really relax away your aches and pains. You can even light a few candles, put on some soft music, and add some pregnancy-safe essential oils to turn it into a thoroughly de-stressing and relaxing experience. Just keep it in mind that hot baths, hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms are not recommended during pregnancy. The water should be comfortably warm, but not hot.
8. Take a Spa Day
If you really need to get away from it all, why not take a spa day? Enjoy a manicure and pedicure or have a facial to give yourself some well-deserved pampering. Invite a friend or two along if you want some girl time.
9. Try Meditation and Yoga
Meditation is a wonderful way to reduce stress and calm the mind, no matter what stage of life you’re in. Try to practice meditation a few times each week to combat stress. Find a quiet spot and put in your earbuds with some relaxing music or try a pre-recorded guided meditation on a CD or a YouTube video. Prenatal yoga is also a great way to manage stress, and they often teach meditation techniques as part of the class.
10. Treat Yourself
From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, everything and everyone in your life will be focused on the new baby. It’s ok to take a break from all of that and do something that’s just for you. Treating yourself is a great way to combat stress and boost your mood. It could be lunch with your best friend, a little retail therapy, or anything else you truly enjoy. Even better, use this time to take a vacation with your partner. This could be your last chance to get away for a while.
Pregnancy can be one of the most stressful, exciting times in a woman’s life. Creating a new life is an amazing and wonderful experience, so be sure to slow down and take the time to enjoy the process. It will be over before you know it!