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Stress And Anxiety During Pregnancy? Here Are Some Helpful Tips

Some women do experience both physical and emotional stress during pregnancy. When your hormones are going haywire and when you suffer fever and indigestion problems, no one can tell you to calm down or be cool.

One of the most common problems women go through during pregnancy is stress. 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 be dependent on them for the next 20 years of their lives is certainly overwhelming.

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Pregnancy And Stress

Every woman experiences pregnancy differently. But everyone has to deal with stress during this time. Most women simply choose to ignore the fact that they are under stress. However, researchers have shown that excessive stress during pregnancy can have serious effects on the foetus [1].

Stress during pregnancy is common but it needs to be kept under control. Pregnant women experience stress for several reasons. It can be because of the new role of motherhood that is soon awaiting them or some issues at home [2].

Excessive stress is known to cause the body to secrete certain hormones which can trigger pre-term labour or even a miscarriage. Besides, it 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 [3].

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 [4].

  • 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. We have gathered some tips which can help you to manage stress and anxiety during pregnancy, take a look.

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Tips To Manage Stress During Pregnancy

Do things you love: Engaging in activities that help to lower stress and anxiety may be a good option for you. Do things that usually puts you in a good mood, which in turn can help your body release endorphins. These endorphins act as natural painkillers in your brain and help reduce your stress. Listen to music or read a book or take a walk. Doing light exercises that don't tire your body can be helpful [5].

Try meditation: Meditation during pregnancy has been proven to significantly reduce the stress levels in the body and also stabilize the heartbeat and blood pressure. Find a quiet dark room and meditate for at least half an hour every day, which can help reduce birth-related complications by over 90 per cent [6][7].

Embrace your body & the changes: Many women stress about the changes happening in their body, especially the weight gain, wondering if they ever get back into their original shape. Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the bodies. While you will lose much of your pregnancy weight after delivery, it is wrong to expect a pre-pregnancy figure all together [8].

Psychologists reveal that 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.

Add more omega-3 in your diet: A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help lift 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 as well [9].

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Tips To Manage Stress During Pregnancy

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 [10][11].

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 painless labour and discussing this option with your doctor will put your mind at ease regarding the myths surrounding labour.

Talk to someone: 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. Support and care from your loved ones can help you feel better and more in control of things. You can also consider getting professional help [12].

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 [13].

Talk to your 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 [14].

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On A Final Note…

Stress and anxiety during pregnancy are common. However, it is not the same for every woman. What may work to help your friend may not help your worries. Get professional help when you think you need it - empowering yourself with the help of others is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, you have to be ready for your little bundle of joy.

Read more about: pregnancy stress anxiety tips
Story first published: Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 18:00 [IST]
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