Today I was remembering what it was like to be pregnant.
I was thinking about this because I’m thrilled to tell you that my daughter is expecting her first baby! I’m so excited, but I’m also full of anxiety because my daughter’s first five pregnancies resulted in miscarriages 🙁
As anxious as that makes us, we are still extremely excited about this birth. However even at 35 weeks with normal sonograms, healthy heart beat and no physical abnormalities my daughter is still feeling anxious and concerned.
So why am I telling you all this?
As a mom I see the stress my daughter is going through and I know how stress and anxiety in pregnancy can be harmful.
But even more than that I’m a C-Section researcher and well aware of the negative effects of stress in pregnancy and the important of keeping stress at bay as much as possible.
Easy for me to say, right? But it’s a fact. Too much stress could bring about:
- premature birth
- low birth weight
- risk of infection – the extra hormones produced from stress can weaken your immune system.
It’s also important to know that your baby feels what you feel. That’s important to think about when it comes to having a healthy baby, both physically and mentally.
Here’s an interesting excerpt taken from an article on How Stress affects the fetus.
“When you are stressed, the stress hormones constrict your blood vessels and decrease blood flow and oxygen to the uterus, which can cause problems for a developing baby. It can also work against the baby’s normal growth and can hinder the chance the baby will be born at full term. New studies have shown that babies that are stressed in the womb are at a higher risk for asthma later in life.”
To read more see http://www.ehow.com/about_6136963_stress-affects-fetus.html
Getting Closer to Term & The Pregnancy Stress Mounts
For my daughter there are the usual pregnancy discomforts at 35 weeks like back ache, leg aches, daily fatigue and of course there’s just no comfortable position no matter what you do. Oh the memories 😉
But due to so many lost pregnancies my daughter is very stressed about what’s to come. She’s not convinced that it’s going to be smooth sailing from here on out. Her anxiety levels are still high. Worry is a daily occurrence for her. She even worries about having a C-Section.
But just like all new moms she worries about other things as well like:
- What will the birth be like? Will it go smoothly.
- How much pain is there? Will drugs even relieve it?
- Will she be in the NICU?
- Will baby be healthy?
- Will I get to hold her right away?
- How difficult will feeding be?
- Will the birth go normally or will I need a C-Section?
All normal worries but stress inducers too.
Reducing your Pregnancy stress levels
Ask questions. Ask lots of them. Also prepare for your birth and know what to expect. Doing these things relieves stress. Even if the news is not what you would hope for, knowing what to expect gives you time to think about the situation and to plan accordingly which can reduce stress.
Fear of the unknown is stressful.
Here are more Easy Pregnancy Stress Reducing Tips
- Meditate for a few minutes a day. Be still and meditate on your thoughts for a few minutes each day. Breathe in slowly through your nose and feel the peace. Let is penetrate your mind. For help with stress releasing meditation check out these 10 meditation tips for fighting stress and feeling more peaceful.
- Be prayerful. Prayer is like meditation but more spiritual. If your faith is strong it can be a wonderful way to connect with God. Prayer has pulled me out of many a sad situation. Just sitting with God and talking to him in prayer, releasing your thoughts to him and rejoicing in praise is cathartic. . During prayer always ask God for his protection; for you and for your baby.
- Absorb yourself in an activity you love. Strenuous activity won’t be possible during pregnancy but if you love reading for example, find a good book to absorb yourself in. Things like working puzzles, crocheting, knitting or listening to soothing music is perfect for relieving pregnancy stress.
- Avoid the negative and the depressing. Avoid stressful situations. Stop watching the news if it upsets you. Take a break from friends or family members that annoy or depress you. Do whatever you need to avoid the people or the situations that bring on negative feelings.
- If you feel sad, then cry. Then follow it with some laughter. Crying can be therapeutic. No one knows that better than us, right ladies? Crying has been proven to release stress. But once that release is over, give yourself a good laugh. Watch a funny movie or listen to your favorite comedian. It IS true when they say “Laughter is the best medicine“.
- Pack your bag for the hospital and fill it full of fun things. Gear up for the big event by making it fun, Of course there’s nothing more fun than shopping for yourself and your new baby. Pack your bags with a few fun things.
Are you pregnant and feeling stressed? What bothers you the most? How did you overcome your stress?
Share your thoughts and ideas here in the comments. It can help to share and discuss them 🙂 It will also help others.
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici & Freedigitalphotos.net