Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, a time of joyful anticipation and preparation. When we talk of pregnancy, we think of radiant women, smiling faces and family pictures with the baby bump. Though all this is true for most women, many go through innumerable phases of stress and anxiety. They are hounded by questions – like, is the baby going to be fine? Is delivery going to be extremely painful? Are we going to make good parents? Adding to these is the constant pressure of a restricted diet and lifestyle to ensure the child’s health. That is what we bring you some tips on how to avoid stress during pregnancy.
There is stress, yes, and we often fail to recognize or even address them at the right time. Too much anxiety and stress is never good for the mother and even more harmful for the baby, which is why it is important to nip it in the bud. The first step to battling Stress During Pregnancy is recognizing the signs of stress and understanding the reason behind it.
Stress During Pregnancy and its Dangers
It is still not known clearly how stress can harm you or your baby during pregnancy but the following are some known facts:
- Chronic stress during pregnancy has shown to affect the baby’s weight at birth. When the mother goes through a prolonged period of stress, the baby is often born underweight.
- Stress can also lead to premature delivery
- Stress is also known to cause developmental issues in the baby due to minor growth defects in the brain.
How to Avoid Stress during Pregnancy
Stress during pregnancy might seem unmanageable but with the right support and understanding, it can be overcome.
What is causing your stress?
The first step to managing stress is to sit and think it out. Try and figure out the main cause behind the stress. Track your behaviour and mood during the day, answer questions like – if there something or someone who is causing you to feel stressed? Are you not able to calm yourself down in such a situation? Note down the situations that are leading to this and give a trusted friend a quick call or talk to a gynaecologist when you visit them next.
Don’t keep it bottled up
It never helps to keep your emotions and feelings bottled up. When feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone who you trust, or who cares about you, a friend or family member. Sharing your thoughts with someone can often help find a solution to the problem or even help lift the weight off your shoulders.
Relax, you deserve it!
Pregnancy is an exciting period of your life; it is also a challenging one and every day brings in a new experience. It’s your time to relax and take time off from the world around you. You will find many guide books online and words of advice from relatives, but here are a few simple ways to relax:
- Stay in, have your favourite snacks and read a book. All of these will become a luxury after the baby arrives.
- Take a long, hot bath. It relaxes your muscles and adding scented candles around gives you the much-needed pampering.
- Try out a new, relaxing hobby like gardening or embroidery. They don’t require much physical effort and can help you learn some very useful tricks. This is especially true for home-grown vegetables!
- Start scrapping! Scrapbooks might seem old school but making one for your baby is a delightful experience. With the time at hand, you can create the book from scratch and start off with some labels for the coming baby to capture their footprint, handprints, photos etc.
Pregnancy does not always mean sitting in and relaxing. Contrary to popular belief, you need to make sure you get enough exercise even when you get pregnant. Not only does moderate exercise help you manage stress, but it also helps you keep your body in the right shape and strength for your baby to grow in. However, if your doctor has asked you to avoid exercise, you must follow their instructions and take the required rest. Pregnant mothers need not take up intense exercises but whatever their doctor instructs them to do, so make sure to talk to them and get a good understanding of what is useful for your baby and you.
Music for everyone
It is rightly said that from around 15 weeks into your pregnancy, your baby starts hearing sounds from all around. This means they will be able to hear your voice, the sound of your heartbeat and digestive systems, including any other sounds you listen to.
Treat your baby and yourself to some soulful, soothing tunes, or sing to yourself. This will help calm both you and the baby and also give your baby a taste of good music (that is of your choice).