Stress and anxiety are your body’s natural response to events that make you feel threatened or upset. In small doses it can be helpful making you feel focused and alert. At some point however it stops being helpful and begins to damage your health, your emotions and your quality of life. Studies have also proved that as early as 17 weeks into a pregnancy stress hormones in the mother are passed into the amniotic fluid; this means that when you are feeling stressed your baby is too.
It’s very important therefore to remain as stress & anxiety free as possible during pregnancy – eliminating sources of anxiety, and when this is not possible learning how to cope with it. The first step is learning to recognise the symptoms of stress and this can sometimes be difficult because the signs mirror some of the normal complaints of pregnancy. Symptoms might include: being quick to anger; nail biting; being unable to concentrate; loss of appetite; skin problems; frequent coughs and colds; indigestion; tense muscles; headaches and rapid heartbeat.
If you think you are suffering from stress, talk to someone! This could be your partner, family, friends or your midwife. Sometimes just getting it out into the open can be extremely helpful.
There are many ways to combat stress, here are just a few:
Date Your Partner
By the time you enter your third trimester, going out with your partner may seem like more trouble than it s worth. That s understandable. You re tired. You re uncomfortable. And your new baby seems to think of your bladder as her personal trampoline. However, taking some time to go out on a weekly date not only gets you out of the house, but it also strengthens your relationship with your partner. And that will pay dividends after the baby is born.
Turn Off Your TV
Television can have a dramatic effect on your mood and energy level. Even watching the news can be depressing. Turn your television off and instead, spend the time listening to music or reading a book. Not only will your mind be more active and engaged, but when you go to bed, you ll find it easier to sleep restfully.
Get A Facial And Pedicure
Few things are as soothing as a facial. You can visit a spa or salon to receive one from a professional, or you can give one to yourself at home. With a cup of plain yogurt, a mild exfoliant, and a light body scrub, you can treat yourself in under 20 minutes.
For a pedicure, you ll need help. After all, you may have trouble seeing your feet, much less massaging them and painting your toenails. Be sure to mention to the technician that you re pregnant; he or she will modify their technique and swap their products to accommodate you.
Get Comfortable Saying No
When people ask something of you, learn to avoid responding with an immediate sure. Simply say that you d like a little time to think it over before agreeing. That will give you breathing room to determine whether the request should be considered a priority. As a rule of thumb, most requests are rarely a priority and can be declined without harm (though the person asking might disagree). Once you learn to say no, you ll relieve a lot of unnecessary stress.
When your baby is born, you ll have very few moments to yourself. Enjoy the time you spend alone or with your partner. Go out on dates to get outside the house and give your mood a lift. Turn off your television to avoid the negativity and pick up a book instead. Treat yourself to a little routine pampering with a facial and pedicure. Finally, learn to refuse the requests of others if you don t consider those requests a priority. You ll feel less stress and anxiety, and be better able to enjoy the remaining months of your pregnancy.