Coping with the pressures of life can be difficult under any circumstances. When you’re pregnant, even small issues can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. Many hormones are in flux during pregnancy that influence both mood and behaviour.
The following is a list of seven healthy strategies to help pregnant moms better handle anxiety, depression, cravings and other common stresses.
Practice Good Self Care
One thing that pregnant moms can do to better deal with stress is to take good care of themselves and their unborn child. Easy ways to practice good self-care include eating a balanced, nutritious diet, getting adequate sleep and rest, and keeping up with your regular exercise routine.
If you haven’t been very physically active before your pregnancy, ask your doctor if it’s okay to add gentle exercise, such as swimming or walking, to your daily routine.
Drop Bad Habits
Many common habits can have a negative effect on your health and the health of baby. Now is the time to kick these practices to the curb. Unfortunately, breaking any habit usually requires a lot more effort than simply resolving you will quit.
Expectant moms often find the support that they need to quit by attending counseling or group therapy. Holistic rehab utilizes these types of treatments, and others, to help women begin recovery. With help, many moms-to-be learn better strategies on how to cope with the stresses of life and deal with cravings and temptations in healthy, constructive ways.
Regardless of what your bad habit might be, it is really important to adopt a healthier lifestyle now, before your baby arrives. This is especially true if your habit involves smoking, drinking, or using drugs.
According to information about substance use during pregnancy and breastfeeding provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, smoking, drinking alcohol or using narcotic substances are habits that can severely harm your health, as well as that of your unborn child. Each of these habits involves using items that contain dangerous, and sometimes deadly substances that raise the chances of stillbirth, and birth defects.
If you are feeling anxious, depressed or just stressed out, breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation techniques such as those used in meditation, yoga and tai chi is a gentle, and immediate way to release tension and lower your heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.
Get a Pet
Two important roles that pets play in our lives is providing unconditional love and companionship to their owners. This is one of the reasons why adopting a new animal friend into your family can be a great way to help pregnant moms better cope with stress!
Of course, adopting a pet into your household is usually a long-term commitment, since most pets can live for many years. With proper care, some pet species such as parrots, tortoises and others, can live for decades and possibly outlive their owners! So, make certain that you are ready for this level of commitment before you adopt.
Since you will also be adding your own child to your family in a few months, take some time to research types of pets and specific breeds that live and play well with small children before you make your final choice.
Talk it Out
Another healthy way to defeat stress is to express your feelings, rather than bottling up your thoughts and emotions. Look for opportunities to connect and share with other expectant moms. If no one in your current network of friends is already expecting, consider taking childbirth and breastfeeding classes as ways that you can learn more about childcare and expand your support network. You might also consider using social media, such as Facebook, to search for local groups in your area that offer expectant moms opportunities to connect and support one another.
Consider Complimentary Therapies
Stress can affect our bodies and health in several ways. It can raise our heart rate and blood pressure, and make us feel anxious or depressed. It can also cause symptoms such as fatigue, soreness and muscle tension. Supportive therapies such as therapeutic massage, aromatherapy and acupuncture are healthy ways to deal with these effects without relying on medication that might harm to your unborn baby.
Talk to Your Doctor
Sometimes the way that we feel when we are carrying our child goes beyond feeling just a bit blue or anxious. If stress seems to be getting the better of you, don’t be afraid to talk to healthcare professional and ask for help. This way your doctor can check you to make certain that something else isn’t going on in your body that’s causing your hormones to rage, and affect your mood and behaviour.