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How To Manage Stress And Anxiety During Pregnancy

By Shabana Khachi

Women nowadays manage many roles. They manage their homes and jobs rather effortlessly. They lead a much stressed lifestyle as a result of this. But the stress level during pregnancy can harm the foetus.

Pregnancy is a very exciting phase, especially for the first-time mums. It also gives them an exhilarating feeling. Moving on to the next chapter of their lives and taking care of a young one who will totally be dependent on them for the next 20 years of their lives is certainly overwhelming.

Being a mum is a full-time job with satisfaction levels being high. Nothing compares to the joy when your little one calls you "Mama" for the first time or the peace that you get of watching them sleep peaceful amidst chaos. But to experience all of this, you have to go through the delicate phase of pregnancy.

Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. But they all have to deal with stress and anxiety during this time. Most of the women simply choose to ignore the fact that they are under stress. However, researchers have shown that excessive stress during pregnancy can have a serious effect on the foetus.

Stress during pregnancy is common but it needs to be kept under control. Pregnant women experience stress for a number of reasons. It can be because of the new role of motherhood that is soon awaiting them or some issues at home.

Some women also stress about the arrival of their baby and the pains of labour. If you are working even during your pregnancy, things at office may put added stress on you.

Excessive stress is known to cause the body to secrete certain hormones which can trigger pre-term labour or even a miscarriage.

Excessive stress can also cause your blood levels to shoot up abnormally, causing huge danger to the foetus. If medications do not help lower the blood pressure, it poses a huge risk to the life of the baby and a caesarean would be necessary.

Though all this happens only during severe stress and anxiety, it is important to be dealt with correctly.

If you are not sure whether you are experiencing stress or not, then here are a few pointers that will help you identify stress and anxiety.

  • Loss of sleep and appetite
  • Frequent headaches
  • Excessive lethargy
  • Easily irritable mood
  • Low self-esteem

In case you are experiencing even some of these symptoms, it is time to kick back and relax.

Here are a few ways to manage stress and anxiety during pregnancy, take a look.


1) Do Things You Love:

If you are the one who has many responsibilities at home, it is important for you to take a back seat during pregnancy and relax. Listen to music or read a book. This will increase the happy hormone in the body, which is good for both the baby and you.


2) Try Meditation:

Meditation during pregnancy is shown to significantly reduce the stress levels in the body and also stabilize the heart beat and blood pressure. Find a quiet dark room and meditate for at least half an hour every day. This will reduce birth-related complications by over 90%.


3) Accept Your Body:

Many women stress about the changes happening in their body, especially the weight that they are gaining, wondering if they ever get back into their original shape. Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the bodies. While you will definitely lose much of your pregnancy weight after delivery, it is wrong to expect a pre-pregnancy figure all together.

Accepting this fact will ease you up and reduce your stress levels. You need to remember that no matter what, you will be the most beautiful person in the eyes of your baby.


4) Have More Omega 3s In Your Diet:

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids will lift up your spirits. It is known to reduce the stress levels in the body and boost an essential amino acid called tryptophan. This hormone in turn will help you sleep better and boost your confidence.


5) Share Your Feelings:

Sharing your feelings with your spouse or a close friend will not only help you relax, but it will also help them assess what you are going through. They will boost your confidence and take care of your metal well being.


6) Sleep More Often:

Sleeping will help you relax and reduce the level of stress hormones your body is creating. Pregnant women often feel tired and sleepy. You are advised to listen to your body when it demands sleep. Sleeping will also refresh and energise you.


7) Talk To The Baby:

Did you know that your baby can hear you from 23 weeks onwards? That's right! Talking to your baby or even listening to some soothing music will help you bond together well. Feeling the movements of your baby and focusing on it will relax you and keep you away from other stressful thoughts.


8) Quit Work:

If you have a very stressful job, your doctor may advise you to quit it during pregnancy, as a job can put a lot of stress on the baby and you. After all, nothing is more important than your baby.


9) Get Your Facts Right:

Listening to old wives' tales regarding labour or after pregnancy issues may put you under stress. Instead of listening to others' painful experiences, read material from trusted sources to prepare yourself. There is no such thing as a painless labour and discussing this option with your doctor will put your mind at ease regarding the myths surrounding labour.


10) Get Help:

Most mums are stressed about the well-being of the child after he/she is born. In such cases, have an experienced person help you to handle your newborn. This will reduce the stress on you and will also ensure a balance between your life and the baby's too. Do remember that your body too will need time to recover after the delivery, so you will need all the help you can get.

Read more about: anxiety stress pregnancy
Story first published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 17:30 [IST]
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