The nine months of pregnancy is full of new experiences and anticipation of what’s to come. There are lots of unknowns and for many (let’s be honest…most) moms pregnancy can cause a bit of anxiety and stress. Even though you may be counting down the days with excitement to becoming a mother, the pregnancy period can have its emotional ups and downs.
However, one of the most important things is to try to stay stress-free while pregnant. Recent studies have shown that high stress during pregnancy can have negative effects for mom and baby-to-be, so finding ways to stay calm and relaxed is oh-so important. Here are 10 tips to try for a stress-free nine-months…
1. Have a Plan:
Having a baby requires a lot of planning. Choosing a good healthcare provider, deciding where to give birth, shopping for maternity and baby gear, decorating the nursery, determining how to organize your life after the baby arrives can all be very stressful situations. By planning ahead and starting the decision-making process early on in your pregnancy, you can save yourself a lot of hassle later.
2. Get Educated:
If this is your first pregnancy, chances are you won’t know what to expect. So read a few good books, take childbirth classes, download an educational video, and don’t forget to speak with your doctor on a regular basis. The more you know about what to expect with your changing body and how your baby develops, the more relaxed and confident you’ll be throughout your pregnancy.
Talk to your partner regularly. Pregnancy can strain a relationship. Both of you are coming to terms with the changes in your life, and each of you may cope differently. Don’t bottle up any feelings, problems or concerns that you have. Strong social support and nurturing by your partner is an important part of a healthy pregnancy.
4. Exercise Regularly:
Exercising during your pregnancy is important for your physical health and has the added bonus of being a wonderful stress reliever. Be sure to choose exercises that you enjoy, otherwise you probably won’t do it! Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are fun ways to exercise and reduce stress. Research has consistently shown that women who exercise during pregnancy have less stress than those who don’t. Just be careful not to overdo it, and always consult your doctor first.
5. Pamper Yourself:
Do something special just for you. Making the effort to unwind, and taking time out to clear your mind is an excellent way to reduce stress. Call up the girls and make it a spa day – schedule a prenatal massage, facial or the ever deserved mani/pedi. You can also go for a walk, read a book, or have a picnic for one in your neighborhood park.
6. Listen to Music:
Set aside some time every day to sit and listen to calming and relaxing music. Better yet, share your favorite tunes with your unborn child and listen to music together. This time of relaxation produces serotonin and endorphins (“happy hormones”) that are transferred to the baby through the placenta. Listening to calming music reduces stress hormones, relaxes muscles, and promotes a state of well being for both mom and baby.
7. Bonding in Utero:
Take time to connect with your unborn baby. Transfer your positive feelings of love by talking, singing, sharing music, or gently massaging and rubbing your baby bump. Enjoy this special time in your life, and embrace the wonderful experience of being pregnant. Although your pregnancy can sometimes seem like an eternity, it’ll be over before you know it.
8. Maintaining Proper Nutrition:
A healthy diet is not only important for your well being, it’s also essential for your baby’s development. Talk to your doctor about the proper intake of protein, iron, folate, vitamins, and minerals. Of course, enjoying a delectable treat periodically is a fabulous idea, as some treats seem to have a positive mood altering effect on the brain. Remember, everything in moderation!
9. Get Plenty of Rest:
Easier said then done! Mommy-to-be needs her rest. So listen up dads – this is as much your job as it is hers! Take care of the bills, do the dishes, laundry and anything necessary to make sure mom gets the extended sleep she needs. A well-rested mom is a happy mom, and a happy mom means a happy household.
10. Find a Pregnancy Support Group:
Talking with other pregnant women can be a very comforting feeling. You are going through an enormous amount of physical and emotional changes as your baby develops. By communicating with others on a personal level, you may feel less stressed once you realize you are not alone. You may even find comfort in helping them get through a rough patch in their pregnancy.
Share with us your tips for staying pregnant and stress-free. What has worked best for you?
Article was written by Adrianne Godart, founder of the Lullabelly Prenatal Music Belt. Godart, also a licensed massage therapist who focuses on prenatal massage, invented the Lullabelly as a way to combine her love for music and positive relaxation techniques. For more information on Godart or Lullabelly, please visit www.Lullabelly.com.