Stress and anxiety during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a precious time. It is the beginning of a huge change in your life and your family's life. It would be ideal if it was a painless, stress free time but as reality has it, it isn't. The stresses that pregnancy brings can be a heavy load on a mother that is already dealing with many other things in her life.
However not all stress and anxiety is bad, if is dealt with in a healthy way it can be a useful tool to help us cope.
What can happen if stress gets out of hand?
• Changes in appetite
• Lowered immunity
• Increases in blood pressure
• Heart problems
What are the stresses I will have to deal with when I am pregnant?
• Nausea, bowel and urinating issues, pain, tiredness
• Just remember that these are only temporary and that they do pass
• Hormonal changes, that contribute to mood changes
• Concern for your baby
• Your ability as a parent
• Money issues
Can stress cause any problems with my baby?
• Low birth weight
• Premature labour
• You are at a greater chance of developing pre-eclampsia
Will I act differently if I am stressed out?
• You may not have a sound nutritional diet
• You may smoke or turn to alcohol or drugs
Is every one the same?
• We all find different ways for dealing with stress
• Something that one person finds hard to deal with another will find pleasurable
• Our bodies also have different ways of dealing with stress
What can I do about stress?
• Identify what is stressful for you in your life
• Get regular exercise and eat healthy food
• Get plenty of sleep
• Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
• Make up a support network with those that are important and good to you
• Try meditation and yoga
• Find time to relax each day
• Have a space at home for you with all your favourite things.
• Take lessons on breathing, deep breathing is good
• Try homeopathy and aromatherapy
• Take stretching classes, to relax your muscles
• Get a massage or go to the hair dresser and have your head massaged
• Shut your eyes and imagine that you are in a restful place
• Be positive
• Find other pregnant women to share your anxieties with; they are probably having the same concerns.
If you feel you are not coping do not be afraid to seek help, many mothers find that pregnancy can be overwhelming. There are many services to help, seek them out, it's worth it.