Stress During Pregnancy
Being pregnant and stressed is the worst combination for the physical and mental health of the mom and the unborn child. Research shows that whatever the mom is feeling, it indirectly affects the fetus through a change of hormone levels. Spiritually, mood also affects the entire body, which can impact the development of the fetus as well.
Stressed Pregnancy Tips
Listed below are a few tips for women experiencing stress during pregnancy.
- Do minis each day. A mini is a 1-3 minute stress buster. Do this at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening. Take a moment to close your eyes, or focus your eyes on something, take several deep diaphragmatic breaths, and repeat a 1-3 word affirmation with each deep breath. I like to say, “Keep letting go.” After just a minute or two you’ll feel like a new person with a new sense of energy and clarity. Science tells us that just this moment of stillness helps reset the stress reaction in our body.
- Water. There ‘s an old myth that germs can go up the vagina and affect the baby. Actually, a bath is very helpful to a stressed pregnant woman. Make sure the temperature does not exceed 100 degrees. Baths are a great source of relaxation and also work well for the aches and pains of pregnancy. A recent Harris Interactive poll found that 100 percent of the 2,000 women interviewed found baths relaxing. The bath is a relaxing ritual that refreshes and resets the bodies equilibrium after stress and helps prevent pregnancy stress. The stressed pregnant woman can practice an enriching relaxing guided imagery while she is in the bath, which enhances the relaxation. She can also take a long shower and imagine the stress is going down the drain with the water.
- A round of beads. I suggest keeping some sort of beads with you at all times: in the car, purse and by the bed. Stop for a minute, pick up your beads, and as you touch each bead, breathe, and say a 1-3 word affirmation or prayer. You will be surprised how calming this practice can become. It is a practice that has been used for thousands of years across cultures and throughout time to reduce stress.
- Attitude of gratitude. Choose a positive loving attitude that you will maintain during the pregnancy. If you have a tense attitude you will release more stress hormones and these can build up over the long pregnancy. Not only is this not healthy, it is not much fun. You can make a decision that this pregnancy will be a flow experience and believe that there is a purpose for everything that you are going to experience. The pregnancy is a process and it will have ebbs and flows, but your attitude will help create the neurochemicals to support your health.
- Remember your breath. This is your first line of defense for your stress during your pregnancy. Most people take shallow breaths, especially when they are stressed. This starves the body and brain of oxygen. When we are tired we might respond to someone in a negative way and later feel sorry for our words. Develop the practice of taking a deep breath, or 2 or 3, before you answer someone in a tense moment. The breath clears the mind, body, and soul.