Pregnancy Stress? Really? Pregnancy can be one of the most stressful times in a woman’s life and for good reasons. Between worrying about the baby and all the things, he or she will need, preparing the home, taking care of yourself and dealing with the rush of the outside world who is constantly in your business pregnancy can be overwhelming to say the least. If your pregnancy becomes complicated or finds you on bed rest, in the hospital, at risk of delivering a child with birth defects or abnormalities this pregnancy stress can be tenfold. Your best defense against pregnancy stress is information and faith.
For many women the stress of pregnancy comes from not knowing what to expect. There are a great many women who are terrified of delivery or are completely frightened by the changes of their body. Other women are uncertain of their abilities to take care of a baby, perhaps are one of the millions with an unplanned pregnancy or don’t feel they have the ‘ideal’ financial or family system in place at the time of pregnancy. Here is the thing. Your life is changing for the better and you have the choice to allow pregnancy stress destroy this miraculous time in your life; or rise above the challenges and find inner peace and confidence.
To get over pregnancy stress, try to gain as much information as possible. One hint is to not use the casual perusing of the internet to find information. There are many wild stories of labor and redelivery and horrific accounts of all that go wrong splattered on millions of websites. These will cause more anxiety and can actually make you feel symptomatic of things like miscarriage or gestational diabetes. You and your pregnancy, while similar to others is a completely personal experience for you and your family. Your body will not fall into a neat order of events and definitions and that is absolutely okay! Take a class that fits your personality. Lamaze, childbirth classes and prenatal care classes can help to reduce any stress you may feel. Read reputable books and check out reputable resources to find information about pregnancy, delivery, and childcare.
If your life is not as ideal as you wished it to be when you find yourself pregnancy, do not be alarmed. In fact most women, even if they are trying to have a baby feel some sort of remorse, regret, or ill preparedness for pregnancy. Single mom, out of work these are all perhaps very temporary situations and even the perceived best situation does not make for a perfect pregnancy or delivery. All you can do is the best you can with what you are dealing with. When you realize that your pregnancy stress can have an inadvertent effect on your baby’s development it seems silly to hang on to stress. Let it go. Start making plans for the future based on where you are right now and ensure that they are constantly an improvement to your life situation. You will find that when the baby is born, all things work themselves out in due time.
Seek out support from family. Even the most tensed family relationships can come full circle when a pregnancy is impending. Call on your mom, grandmother, aunts or sisters to help you get through. Other pregnant moms you may meet can be a wonderful buddy system and once the baby is born, you will have automatic options for playgroups with other moms who know precisely what you are going through. Remember that most moms suffer from pregnancy stress and if you reach out to someone else, you may be doing them a favor as well. By joining a community of people just like you, you won’t feel as isolated during your pregnancy and you will come to the realization that all of your doubts and fears are part of the normal transition occurring within you during pregnancy.
Don’t forget to exercise. So many women feel like delicate flowers once they are pregnant and are fearful to walk, jog or engage in any exercise. If you have been active before pregnancy chances are you can resume most of your normal exercise routines. Check with your OBGYN and clearly define your current routine so they can tell you which exercises to skip. Not only will this keep you fit and in shape during pregnancy, but your body will be in the best condition possible to deliver a baby. Normally, pregnant woman can engage in exercises with the exception of those that jar the body or engage the abdominal muscles. If nothing else, walk every day. Exercise naturally reduces cortisol levels and can help release endorphins which will keep your raging hormones in check during pregnancy. Plus, research suggests that women who stay active during pregnancy have quicker labors and are able to lose their baby weight more quickly.
Pregnancy stress should also be looked at as a well-perceived warning of priorities in your life. Think about what you are worrying about and decide whether it is really important in light of your situation. Maybe it is time to let go of some of your worrying habits and lower stress levels by deciding what is important in your life and what no longer is. Rather than feel overwhelmed by a to-do list, take time to do some of the things for your self that will be harder once a baby is here. You will realize that infancy requires very little ‘stuff’ in order to properly take care of your baby. Focus on yourself, your new baby and know that all the other things, like the nursery and clothes, will find their way to you sufficiently at the right time. Pregnancy stress should be avoided if at all possible and the best way to reduce it is to make a vow that you will enjoy this miraculous time in your life.