Written by guest blogger Andrea Hoshmand, Founder of the Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia
If you want to enjoy a stress-free pregnancy as part of a generally healthy lifestyle, there’s plenty of good news. Why? Because there are dozens of easy, innovative ways to relax during pregnancy and make sure your baby gets the best of everything.
It’s no mystery that even a woman who’s in the middle of an otherwise healthy pregnancy can experience unusually high degrees of stress. Of course, a certain amount is natural, but when you let stressful factors pile up, they can lead to all sorts of inconveniences, physical discomfort, and even premature birth.
Women looking to relieve stress during pregnancy often turn to strategies like specific pregnancy diet recommendations from their doctors, physical exercise, prenatal massage, meditation, acupuncture, and more. But, first, it’s important to know about the unique manifestations of discomfort that are common to expectant mothers. They include the following:
- Irregular urination
- Mental concerns about the responsibilities of parenthood
- Swelling in limbs
- An intense bout of fatigue that comes and goes
- An upset stomach
- Emotional instability due to hormonal level imbalances
- General anxiety about the health of the child
- Worrying about the delivery day
Yes, carrying a child comes with plenty of common problems, and not all of them are physical. Of course, there’s probably never been such a thing as a stress-free pregnancy because all women undergo their own unique combination of difficulties.
Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to relax during pregnancy and relieve stress during pregnancy, no matter your level of anxiety or physical unease. The trick is to begin early and do regular pregnancy exercises if you are able. Likewise, if your doctor recommends a pregnancy diet, give it a go and see how well it works to bring a bit of calmness to your life.
A General Rule?
If there’s a bit of advice that applies to everyone, it’s probably this: leading a healthy lifestyle usually leads to a healthy pregnancy. Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes, so be sure to add activities like a prenatal massage during pregnancy as a way to bolster your overall healthy lifestyle during the days leading up to delivery.
Tactics That Work
What can you do to decrease stress, acquire long-term relaxation, and boost your overall level of well-being during pregnancy? The great news is that there are lots of ways for women of all ages, shapes, sizes, fitness levels, and physical abilities to take control and introduce calming activities into their lives.
It’s not about becoming an exercise fanatic or devout meditation enthusiast. But, at least during pregnancy, there are several approaches that can deliver reliable, effective results in terms of stress reduction.
Here are some approaches you can try. Don’t feel the need to do them all. Instead, experiment with the ones that attract your attention first, and then maybe delve into one or two that you don’t know anything about or have never tried before.
- Be smart: Don’t drink alcohol to excess, stop smoking if you currently smoke, only take drugs that your doctor prescribes to you, eat at least three well-balanced meals each day.
Adjust your schedule to allow for more sleep than whatever your normal amount is, attempt to do some light exercise every day if you feel up to it, and maintain an attitude that taking care of yourself will pay major dividends in the long-run because it’s true.
- Monitor your personal reaction to stress: We all deal with stress in different ways. But, be careful to avoid the most common pitfalls of reacting in counterproductive ways.
What does that mean? Common unwise ways of dealing with stress include consumption of junk food, sleeping too much (compared to your regular sleep habits) as a way of not dealing with issues that need your attention, becoming anti-social to the point that you avoid interacting with others, skipping one or more meals because you’re “too nervous” to eat, drinking more than a minimal amount of alcohol, and smoking.
- Build personal time into your daily schedule: Make it a point to give yourself enough time each day to do relaxing activities. Consider a short, daily yoga or stretching routine. Learn how to do basic relaxing meditation if you don’t already know. Get a weekly massage if your doctor approves.
Practice deep-breathing sessions for a few minutes several times per day. Set time aside to listen to music that you find calming. Spend time reading one or two books by favorite authors. And don’t forget to plan some outside activities to add a bit of fun to your weekly routine.
Onward, in a Positive Frame of Mind
There’s no reason to let the very human side of pregnancy get you down, because healthy choices exist. Remember, billions of women have gone through the very same process, even if they didn’t all respond to it in the exact same way.
Keep a positive attitude and realize that there are numerous tried-and-true tactics for beating stress and keeping it at minimal levels. You can, with a little persistence and patience, turn your body into a relaxed, calm temple of restfulness during one of its major transformations.