Taking Care Of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. If youre feeling worried, youre not alone. Worry is common, especially during a womans first pregnancy or an unplanned one. It can be even harder if youre dealing with depression or anxiety.
If youre feeling worried, sad, or nervous, talk to someone about it and know when to reach out for help.
How To Manage Stress Naturally During Pregnancy
Balancing multiple roles and demands while also managing life stressors and taking time for yourself is always difficult, but may be even more challenging during pregnancy. In our fast-paced world, advice to slow down and take time to relax while preparing for your babys arrival is often easier said than done. However, finding ways to keep stress at bay has numerous health benefitsincluding increasing the likelihood of a full-term pregnancy and reducing the risk of health complications for both mom and baby. The good news is that there are science-based strategies for managing stress and anxiety. The strategies for coping with stress during pregnancy can fit into your everyday life, including mindfulness-based practices, getting enough sleep and exercise, and making the most of social support.
Mindfulness is simply defined as being as aware of what you are experiencing as you are experiencing it, without judgement. Mindfulness is a great way to treat stress naturally during pregnancy. Research shows that mindfulness is linked to improvements in mood, depression, anxiety, sleep, interpersonal communication and self-compassion. During stressful times, mindfulness can help you calm your body, and appreciate the fleeting moments of your pregnancy. Three simple tips for starting a mindfulness-based practice include:
Enhancing Sleep Quality
Breathe Before You Speak
It is no surprise that pregnancy hormones can make you moody and cranky and emotional, so when you feel a mood swing taking place, stop, breathe and ask yourself Is this really who I am?. This simple trick can prevent a lot of arguments and issues and can help you deal with stress even before it starts.
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Find As Much Help As You Need
If you feel overwhelmed with stress and worry despite your efforts, you should speak to your doctor about your feelings. Your obstetrician should be well aware of the effects of stress during pregnancy and can guide you to therapy or medication that can help. Symptoms of depression include sadness, excessive guilt, uncontrollable crying, and loss of interest. If you have these feelings every day for two weeks or more, you should reach out for treatment and guidance.
With all of the changes your body is undergoing, there is no need to blame yourself for feeling less than perfect during pregnancy. If you are struggling with stress management or are worried about the health of your developing child, reach out to us at Crystal Run Healthcare.
Our team is committed to womens health and wellness and can schedule a prenatal visit and lab work to help put your mind at ease. We have high-risk maternal-fetal medicine specialists available to answer all of your questions and help you prepare for a healthy and happy birth experience. Contact us today to gain access to the resources and support you need to truly relax and enjoy this time together.
Sip On Peppermint Tea
Peppermint leaves contain menthol which acts as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Peppermint also helps remove gas from your stomach and resolve stomach issues like nausea and vomiting. Sipping on peppermint tea is a healthy, all-natural way to relieve stress during pregnancy. Keep some peppermint tea bags in your purse or briefcase so you can fight stress and tummy trouble wherever you are. Peppermint tea is naturally caffeine-free so you can sip on it all day at work or while lounging at home.
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Keep In Mind That Communication Is Key
Since this event is life-changing and can have a drastic impact on your relationship with your partner, it is essential that you keep the doors of communication wide open. If you and your partner do not talk or communicate and keep your feelings and problems to yourself, then your relationship is bound to be stressful.
To deal with relationship stress during pregnancy, it is crucial that you communicate, tell your partner how you are feeling and what you want and your partner. In addition, you should focus on your feelings and be considerate of your situation.
Now, you have to understand there are hardly any scripted guidelines on how to avoid stress during pregnancy. It depends entirely on the partners to find out how to deal with pregnancy stress.
Here, communication is the only key to address relationship problems while pregnant to smartly handle relationship stress during pregnancy.
When To Call The Doctor About Stress During Pregnancy
If you start to experience worry and anxiety that you can’t shake, let your practitioner know. If youre losing sleep every night, have lost your appetite for an extended period of time, or if your stress has lead to unhealthy behaviors, call the doctor. Pregnancy anxiety or depression should be treated, so dont delay sharing your feelings with your OB/GYN or midwife.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Labor Is Freaking You Out
First, remember that every pregnant woman is nervous about delivering her baby . Watters suggests this meditation exercise to help you get in tune with your body:
Get in a comfortable position, either seated or lying down on your side. Tense one area of your body for 2-3 seconds and then let that area relax. Move from your toes up to your face, tensing and relaxing each area.
This will come in very handy when you’re in labor, because it’ll help you learn how to relax all areas of your body, conserve energy, and make the work of birthing your baby easier. The breathing exercises can also help you focus and relax. Visualizing an easy and smooth delivery can be very powerful, reassuring and relaxing when that anxiety arises.
Eat Well And Stay Hydrated
What you eat and drink becomes very important when you are pregnant. Generally, the recommended healthy diet that benefits pregnancy also helps your body fight stress. But one item in particularwatercan help immensely when youre feeling stressed. Being adequately hydrated also helps your body eliminate the stress hormone cortisol faster. When you drink plenty of water cortisol leaves your body before it can have a negative impact on your body or your pregnancy .
Make sure you drink six glasses of water daily spread throughout the day. Hydration is even more vital if youre fighting morning sickness and vomiting. In this case, replacing the water with some ginger tea that you can sip throughout the day will help.
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Stretch To Feel Better Fast
The hormones that are released when you get stressed can cause your muscles to tense up and tighten. Stretching is a great way to counteract this tightness and relieve stress during pregnancy.If you feel yourself getting anxious or nervous, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to stretch your neck, your back, your arms, and your legs. Stretch your neck by tilting your head so that your left ear moves toward your left shoulder. Pause when you feel a stretch and hold this position for twenty seconds. Be sure to breathe deeply to help your muscles relax. After twenty seconds, slowly move your head back to its normal position. Then tilt your head to the other side and hold for twenty seconds.
Tips To Deal With Stress When Trying To Get Pregnant
What if I told you that stress was the most important thing that you need to address on your fertility journey? And what if I can show you why its a problem and give you some tips on what you can do to address it? Well, thats exactly what were going to talk about in this episode of Fertility TV. So, keep watching to learn more.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the fertility expert, and welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. Ive been working with couples for over 18 years from all over the world in my online Fertility Hope coaching programs and right here in San Diego at my clinics. But before we get started talking about stress and fertility, I want to invite you all to join me for a free training that Im going to be hosting for all of you. Were going to be talking about fertility, stress, all the things you could be doing to support that and manage that. But also so much more, because I cant talk about it all in this video or, and sometimes, in all of my videos, and thats why Im going to do that free training, but youve got a register to join me for that. And you can do that by using the link in the description below.
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How Stress During Pregnancy Can Affect Your Baby
Even though we do not fully understand all the different mechanisms that take place when were under stress, enough scientific studies suggest that prolonged and intense stress can affect the way a baby develops.
One thing we know for sure is that the stress hormone cortisol reaches your babys bloodstream through the placenta.
The additional strain of dealing with traumatic and intense events that in many cases originate before pregnancy can influence your overall health and add to the effects of the stress. Recent evidence suggests that stress, when it is intense and lasts for extended periods, can leave its mark on how your babys brain develops.
Again, it’s important to note that levels of stress that these studies included catastrophic events like massive fires or hurricanes and not the more moderate levels of stress that you might experience from worrying about the bills or about your relationship.
Dealing With Stress At Work During Pregnancy
Trying to maintain your career, earn enough so you can support your baby, and ensure you have a job to return to after your maternity leave all while youre dealing with pregnancy is clearly a major source of stress.
Some workplaces are more supportive of pregnant women than others, and work adjustments, such as cutting hours, different schedules, or different workloads can be arranged.
The reality is that many managers or even your co-workers wont be able to fully understand why your productivity is lower if you are facing constant morning sickness or you merely have to do more pre-natal check-ups if your pregnancy is at risk.
Since your rights as a pregnant worker are protected, there are safety procedures in place and risk assessments you should call upon.
It is entirely reasonable that you want to continue earning up until your maternity leave, but if you feel that work pressure is making things worse for you, then you should consider your health and your babys health first, and take the unpaid leave.
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Handling Stress During Pregnancy
Hundreds of years ago, it was considered to be just an old wives tale that pregnant women should stay calm or it would harm both them and their unborn child.
However, in the black community, grandma and midwives truly understood how prolonged stress could complicate a pregnancy.
They would have conniption fits when a pregnant woman became stressed out for some reason or so. She would be warned about calming down or she could jeopardize the pregnancy.
Now doctors understand what grandmothers did back then. That stress did affect both mother and the unborn. And as we all know now, sometimes proves to be fatal for both mother and child.
Even a little stress is unhealthy.
Black women are two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Cited: website: what to expect
You know the usual stress that women are under on any giving day. But being pregnant intensifies the stress because now you have another human being under your ribcage thats also feeling the same emotional roller coaster.
And the complications for the fetus could be dire:
Low birth weight
Low brain functions
Looking for ways to deal with stress which benefits benefit the pregnant woman and her unborn child?
Heres a few things to think about:
You can talk to other mothers about how they had dealt with stress when they were expecting.
Let go of issues or concerns that you dont have any control of.
Work Is Insane And Your Boss Is Driving You Nuts
Taking just a couple of minutes for some deep breathing and gentle stretching during a hectic day will help instill the mental clarity to organize your thoughts, says Kim Watters, Fitness Manager at Red Mountain Resort in Utah. Here are her three favorite officefriendly stretches. Hold each one for at least 20 seconds.
Abs and side stretch: Sit near the front edge of your desk chair. Lengthen your arms overhead and exaggerate your reach. Now stretch up through your right hand, lengthening the right side of your body more while pressing down with your left heel. Switch hands and repeat to the other side.
Neck stretch: Sit near the front edge of your chair. Raise your shoulders up and press down. Repeat a few times. Then roll them forward, up, back and then down. Repeat a few times. Turn your head as far to the right as possible. Repeat to the left. Now, tilt your head to the right and then repeat to the left. Finally, tilt your chin down and then pull it in towards the chest.
Back stretch: Sit forward on your chair with your legs a little wider than your hips. Lean forward from the hips and drop your torso down so your head is resting between your thighs . Let your head and arms hang down toward the floor.
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Medication For Pregnancy Stress
Mental health medications, like antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers, may be prescribed for certain women who are struggling to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, or other emotional challenges during pregnancy.15 Research on taking these medications while pregnant is limited.
Certain medications do carry risks to the unborn fetus, so these medications are generally avoided. If your doctor feels that you may benefit from medication, they will consider the pros and cons and help you decide whether this is the right option for you. Be sure to consult with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner that specializes in working with perinatal mental health.
Can Stress Cause Miscarriage During Early Pregnancy
You and your baby are well equipped to handle everyday stresses like work pressures, getting stuck in traffic, a small argument etc. However, situations that warrant high-stress levels can hamper the growth and development of the unborn baby. In 2008, a Danish study of more than 19,000 pregnant women suffering from high levels of psychological stress revealed that they had an 80 percent greater risk of stillbirth than women who had an intermediate level of stress during pregnancy. Some researchers also support the claim that babies born to mother who was highly stressed during pregnancy have higher chances of developing allergies and asthmas. Premature births and stillbirths have also been connected to pregnancy stress, though there is no concrete study on the subject.
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Relaxation To Deal With Stress During Pregnancy
For example, you can acquire some relaxation techniques that can help you calm down and make yourself less stressed. Yoga is one of the coolest ways to do this because yoga has been proven to have positive effects on both the mind and the body. Not only that, but yoga has also been proven to be very effective at reducing stress during pregnancy.
Stress relief through relaxation techniques is one of the most effective ways to manage the stress you are going through during pregnancy. Stress relief through relaxation techniques is something that you should not overlook when you are trying to cope with your pregnancy.
If you learn a few relaxation techniques and put them into practice, you will know how to handle stress during pregnancy better and have more fun during this particular moment.
What Causes Stress In Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of tremendous physical, emotional and relationship changes. Even though most of us think of pregnancy as a time filled with love and joy, the reality is that any change comes with a lot of stress. When you’re pregnant your body has the challenge of growing a whole new person. That is stressful in itself and it comes with many emotional and psychological side effects too.
Your relationship with your partner has to adjust to welcoming a new family member and defining your new role as parents. You may have gotten on fine before pregnancy, but now you find you’re arguing more and snapping at each other.
During pregnancy, every emotion is felt more intensely, and you might find yourself crying a lot more than normal and then worrying if your crying is having a negative effect on your baby. .
Here are the most common causes of pregnancy stress.
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