Stress and Pregnancy
Learning To Reduce Stress
For most women pregnancy is a special time. It
is also a time of considerable change, therefore stress and pregnancy
is quite common as a woman struggles to come to terms with these
This article is all about stress and pregnancy,
what causes it and some simple tips to help you reduce it and
have a stress free pregnancy.
Most of us experience varying levels of stress
on a daily basis, when a woman is faced with coping with everyday
stress and pregnancy.
In addition, she also has to come to terms with
changes in her body and her emotions, together with how her pregnancy
will affect her family, financial and work situation.
Managing stress during pregnancy
For many it can be difficult to adequately manage
stress and pregnancy while remaining in control of situations
that until now have been easy to cope with.
Although stress and pregnancy can add additional
worry, stress does not have to be all bad and we all need a little
bit of stress in order to perform well.
Learning to managing stress effectively provides
us with the drive we need to meet new challenges.
For a pregnant woman coping with stress and pregnancy
means understanding and embracing the changes, being prepared,
taking good care of herself (inside and out), feeling energised
rather than drained, not being afraid to ask for help and making
the necessary adjustments, in order to continue functioning well
at home and at work.
When stress and pregnancy does become a worry
then physical or emotional stress builds up to uncomfortable levels
and this can be dangerous.
In the short term, this can cause anxiety, headache,
backache, fatigue, sleeplessness, or poor appetite.
Long term stress and pregnancy can contribute
to high blood pressure, heart disease, lowered resistance to infectious
disease, and risk to the foetus.
Stress and Pregnancy What can you expect?
Most pregnant women will experience nausea, frequent
urination, swelling, backache and fatigue.
Hormonal changes may contribute to mood swings
and there will be some anxiety about the health of her unborn
child, her ability to cope with labour and birth, and her ability
to be a good mother.
And how can you cope?
The good news is that for most women stress is
unlikely to cause problems in pregnancy.
A pregnant woman can cope with stress and pregnancy
Recognizing that the symptoms are temporary
Identify the personal and work-related sources of stress
Eat a healthy diet and not skip meals
Get plenty of sleep
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
Take gentle regular exercise (with your doctors consent)
Form a good support network
Set aside some time every day to practise relaxation
Diet & Stress
It is necessary to understand the importance of
a healthy diet, regular meals, the benefits of regular relaxation,
and the other points mentioned in order to better cope with stress
A good diet is essential not just for you, but
also for the nutrition of your unborn baby.
Sources of stress relief
Many childbirth educators offer childbirth preparation
classes that can help reduce stress during pregnancy and can advise
on relaxation and staying healthy during pregnancy.
A good relaxation CD will not only prove useful
to alleviate stress during pregnancy and make you feel better,
but can also be very beneficial in preparing you to relax your
mind and your muscles during labour and birth.
Women who are still concerned about coping with
stress and pregnancy should talk with their GP or healthcare provider.
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