Pregnancy can be both exciting and stressful. After all, bringing a new person to the world can be anything but easy. The physical, mental, and emotional changes that a woman experiences during her pregnancy cannot be precisely comprehended and described in words. It’s a glorious and overwhelming emotion. Just like a woman’s physical condition is closely monitored when she is expecting a baby, similarly, it’s advisable that her mental condition is also assessed. Having anxiety and emotional stress during pregnancy is pretty common. However, overstressing can lead to several repercussions. Massive mood shifts, depression and anxiety are regularly experienced by expecting mothers. These debilitating mental conditions do not fade away once the child is born.
Physical & Psychological Symptoms Of Stress During Pregnancy
- Increased heart rate and palpitations
- Frequent headaches
- Back pain
- Grinding of teeth
- Concentration and cognitive disturbances
- Abnormal sleeping patterns
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Anxiety and frustration
Major Triggers Or Causes Of Stress During Pregnancy
- Physical stress: Lethargy and a nagging feeling of exhaustion are common among pregnant women. Aches across the body, morning sickness, and constipation are some of the other physical discomforts that can cause significant stress during pregnancy.
- Hormones: The raging hormones cause mood swings, which make it even harder for them to handle stress.
- Personal and work-related stress: It can get extremely stressful for women, who are handling a job, home front, and pregnancy all at the same time. Balancing all these things simultaneously can be very hard. Falling into anxiety and depressive cycles are prevalent in such cases.
- Domestic Abuse: One of the most unfortunate and unlawful acts that women in this country are still battling with is domestic abuse. Physical and mental trauma from spouses and other family members can lead to aggravation of stress. This can have harmful consequences that will affect both the mother’s and foetus’ well-being.
How Does Stress Affect Pregnancy?
The emotional upheaval that tags along with bodily changes during pregnancy makes it difficult for expecting moms to continue with their daily activities and work, keeping a sane head. This emotional stress during pregnancy, if left untreated, can turn your months into a nightmare, preventing you to enjoy such a beautiful journey. Extreme, chronic, and long-term stress can cause the following issues:
- Preterm delivery
- Low birth weight baby
- Developmental delays in the baby
Studies have highlighted that stress and miscarriage are closely related. Stress in pregnancy interferes with many bodily functions like the immune system, which in turn negatively affect the baby and cause premature birth. Premature babies can suffer from many health issues as they are vulnerable to several diseases. They typically suffer from low immunity, respiratory disorders, and digestive problems.
Researches have shown that babies born to stressed mothers were underweight. Different women respond to stress differently. Some women opt for smoking, drinking, and taking drugs in order to cope with stress, which can cause fatal health problems if they are pregnant. Therefore, the recurring question has been how to avoid stress during pregnancy. Let’s find out the answer to that!
7 Ways To Cope With Stress During Pregnancy
1. Get Ample Amount Of Rest
One easy solution to bid adieu to exhaustion and stress in pregnancy is by getting enough sleep and rest. Even taking a quick 20-minute power nap during the day will do the trick. It will help your body and mind relax. Just like sleep is important for the well-being of our mental health, it is also essential for ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
2. Indulge In Regular Massages
Indulging in regular massage sessions is an efficient way to relax your muscles and relieve stress during pregnancy. While you are at it, focus on your breathing and feel the soothing and positive effect in your body and mind in no time.
3. Practice Positive Self-Talk
Repeating a simple mantra over and over again can help your mind focus and push all negative thoughts out. Pick your own mantra that makes you feel confident, in control, and optimistic about yourself. No matter how stressful be the situation, repeating a simple mantra will do the trick of keeping your sanity intact. This in return will help you face the stressor or crises.
4. Add A Cup Of Peppermint Tea In Your Diet
Peppermint leaves possess menthol which is well-known for acting as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Peppermint helps you deal with digestive problems and relieve issues like nausea and vomiting. Having at least one cup of peppermint tea every day has an array of health benefits. It is caffeine-free and a natural way to relieve stress during pregnancy.
5. Keep A Check On Your Diet
Ensure that you don’t skip meals and consume a balanced diet. Also, drink ample amount of water to flush out the toxins from your body. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and avoid alcohol during pregnancy. You might opt for some non-alcoholic cocktail or a milkshake.
6. Indulge In Simple And Gentle Exercises
Exercising and working out have the power of instantly improving our mood. Doctors and physical instructors have time and again encouraged that it’s perfectly safe to indulge in certain exercises during pregnancy. Just avoid anything too strenuous. Recently, yoga has bagged a lot of popularity and preference among pregnant women. There are a series of asanas which are specifically designed and categorised for pregnant women. Learning techniques like breathing, relaxation, and meditation will significantly help boost your mental well-being.
7. Apply The Mindfulness Technique
Practising mindfulness is like an art that helps you connect with your immediate environment and drive out negative thoughts. Mindfulness teaches you to enjoy the small but profound moments of life. These moments could be as simple as enjoying a beautiful sunset or deriving pleasure from encountering some colourful flowers or spending quality time with a loved one. In recent times, researches have highlighted the benefits of mindfulness and how effectively it can ease stress and depression during pregnancy.
- All pregnant mothers experience a substantial amount of stress. However, try not to worry too much about everyday drills during pregnancy and take steps to relax your stress levels.
- Look out for the symptoms and practice the mentioned techniques to cope with stress during your pregnancy.
- If the steps don’t work and you still face inflated stress and anxiety then seek help from a professional without delay to avoid any adverse effects.
- Keep in mind that your psychological well-being is bound to have long-term effects on your unborn child.
You don’t have to lose your sleep and peace of mind anymore. Now, you are equipped to tackle stress in a healthy way with some easy steps. Apply them leniently and whenever required. Also, it will help you to come up with better and subjectively more effective coping strategies that will allow you to relax and enjoy such a magical phase of your life profoundly.