Pregnancy can be a time of added stress for both you and your partner. Although it is a special time in your life, it also is a time of physical, social and emotional changes. Some of these changes are due to the hormone increases that occur during a normal pregnancy. These can cause mood swings that interfere with your usual stress management skills, making those little problems seems bigger than they actually are. Because how you cope with stress affects your mental and physical health, keeping stress under control can help you stay healthy during your pregnancy.
Try one or more of the following strategies to help you manage stress in a positive way during your pregnancy:
- Eat a balanced diet = Not eating the right foods or enough food can make your irritable and tired, which may make you more prone to react negatively to the stress in your life. Avoid caffeine and cigarettes.
- Exercise regularly = Try to get some physical activity almost everyday, unless your Doctor tells you otherwise. Go for a walk.
- Make sure to get plenty of rest = Don't let the demands of everyday life overwhelmed you. Make time to rest, even if you have to schedule it.
- Find out what helps you relax = And then do it! Some things that might help you "wind down" could include taking a nap, resting your hand on your belly and feeling your baby move, taking a long warm shower or talking to your baby.
- Tune up = Playing classic or other music that you enjoy can help you relax and concentrate. There are also a number of relaxation tapes that combine nature sounds or soothing music with instructions that either ask you to visualized a specific scene or to teach you to relax specific muscle groups.
- Take some quiet time = Spend some time alone, meditate, read a book or keep a journal. Imagine your stress away = When you are feeling tense find a space where you can sit quietly for 10- 15 minutes.
- Hold that thought= When you have a stressful or negative thought, try these techniques : Stop the thought in mind stream. Actually say to your self "Stop" take a deep breathe and exhale slowly. Mentally take a step back, look at the situation objectively. Ask your self "Is my reaction overblown?" Remember that hormones swings during pregnancy may make things worst than they are. Then ask your self "What's a more constructive way to approach this problem ".
- Control your breathing to relax = Most meditation exercises use breathing techniques to help relax the body and mind. Try these simple relaxation techniques : Find a private spot where you can be quiet for 10-15 minutes. Sit erect , with your hands in your lap or relax at your sides. Close your eyes. Inhale deeply, hold your breathe for 5 seconds and exhale slowly. Sit quietly, concentrate on your breathing. Breathe through you lungs. On every exhale say the word "Calm". With every breathe, feel your mind becoming more still. Don't fight other thoughts or distraction, let them come, let them go. Just concentrate on your breathing. After 10 - 15 minutes, Open your eyes. Remain seated for 2-3 minutes. Resume your normal activity
- Tense, then relax = Progressive relaxation is a popular relaxation techniques that has been used for years. The idea is first to tense, then to relax specific muscle groups in a specific order. Try these techniques, when you begin to feel tense, if possible, find a quiet private place. Sit comfortably in a armchair or lie on the floor. (Do not lie flat on your back during the second half of your pregnancy, as this could decrease the blood supply to your abdomen and the baby) . Loosen any tight clothing. Remove your shoes, close your eyes and breathe normally, For each muscle groups tense the muscle for 6 seconds, then relax period. Repeat 3 times before going to the next group of muscle. These are sequence: Feet, calves, thighs , buttock, shoulders, hands, forehead and jaw (make a face, stick out your tongue) Reverse the sequence.
- Don't do it alone = Let others to help you. (husband, family, friends, neighbor) they can support you physically and emotionally before an d after the baby comes. They care about you and your baby's well being, but may not always know how to help you. Don't be afraid to tell them what you want and need.
- Dads get stressed too= Although they do not go through the same changes during pregnancy as mothers to be do, Dads get stressed too. They maybe worried about family finances, changing relationship and many other things. Take time to talk about what's going on. Give each other a hug, Dads also can help in a special way. Your partner can help you stay calm and relax by being aware of the changes you are going through and offering to rub your back or help with the housework, or just making an extra effort to keep the lines of communication often when things get tense.