Stress And Pregnancy, And Solutions That Work

Sometimes, stress and pregnancy seem to fit together like a hand and glove. This isn’t true of all women, of course. Some just let troubles roll off their back, like the proverbial duck with water. If you’ve been so blessed, good for you; pregnancy is likely just one area of life in which you find things easier.

Others of us, though, are not so blessed. We have to wrestle with our darker thoughts, doubts and fears. These take the form of recurring questions for a pregnant woman. She wonders if her baby will be healthy. Is she eating properly? Is her sleep and exercise doing well for the baby? If she is a first time mom, naturally, she will often be grappling with her anxieties about whether she’ll be a good mother.

I don’t buy the story that stress is an unmitigated evil. That, it seems to me, is the talk of shallow sandal wearing, granola eaters. Stress contributes much to our ability to create, achieve and meet responsibilities.

However, excessive, chronic stress is another matter. And, without doubt, the worst – because least productive – kind of stress is stress about being stressed. And, since excessive, chronic stress in pregnancy can lead to problems for the baby, stressing about stress in pregnancy is understandable and common.

The worst and most pointless stress is indeed stress about being stressed. So, by all means, it is important not to create a downward spiral for yourself.

When you find yourself getting stressed about whether you’re too stressed, then, it is probably a good idea to do something about it. If you feel as though that’s your situation, there are two strategies I’d like you to consider: communicating and taking inventory.

Communication is of course important in most things. It has particularly therapeutic benefits in pregnancy. To begin with, it is important to talk about your concerns with your partner. I’m well aware that your pregnancy stress could have in fact a lot to do with your partner: particularly worrying over his feelings and reactions.

Even if you feel that way about him, communicating is still the best policy. You could be surprised how relieved he might feel to have an opportunity to talk about it and feel less alone once you share your own unease. All the life changes of pregnancy are a lot for either of you to go through alone. And, even if he is totally fine with everything, the benefits to you are still immense. Just being able to express your doubts or fears can provide an amazing elixir.

There’s considerable reassurance in going through these doubts together, knowing and feeling that you’re not alone. And, it is always striking how doubts and fears can simply vanish once we refuse to allow them to fester.

Friends are also valuable outlets for your communication needs. They don’t even necessarily have to be mothers themselves. Your real friends are your friends because they’re going to be there for you, whatever happens. Like a rock climber who gives some solid tugs on a line before lowering the full weight of her body onto it, just the occasional, reassuring touching base with your support network goes a long way to comfort you that you’re not undertaking this great adventure alone.

Taking inventory is another valuable strategy for stress reduction during pregnancy. When you find yourself worrying about what you’re eating or how much exercise you’re getting, again, don’t let it fester. Do something about it.

Lady, you’re living in the World Wide Web Age: make use of it. Never in history has it been easier to research health information from credible scientific medical and maternal care professionals. When you start stressing about whether your choices are good ones, stop stressing and find out what’s really true. If you’ve doubts about what to do; find out what to do.

If you’re not doing it, then do it. Though, I suspect, the overwhelming majority of time, you’ll discover what you’ve been doing is perfectly fine. Knowledge is your friend; let it put you at ease.

However, it is true, that for some women, none of this solves the problem. If that’s you, well, then, maybe you’re just a worrier by disposition. Hey, some of us are wired that way; what’s to be done? Well, that’s still no reason to descend into a spiral of stressing over stress. There are many exercises you can undertake that have been time tested remedies to psychological stress, through the reduction of physical stress. Top of the list to start would be yoga, deep-breathing, meditation, massage, and warm baths. These things work!

And, give yourself time to relax. Many women are just too accustomed to being on top of everything for everyone. If that’s your nature, so be it. But while you’re pregnant, you need to let go a little bit. Put your feet up and let others bear some of the responsibility for a while. If you work outside of the home, don’t be ashamed of taking off some sick days. Even if you’re not technically sick. I mean, really, aren’t you already doing the most important job of your life: bringing a happy, healthy child into the world?

Stress only becomes a serious problem when we let it. Cut it off at the pass when you sense it arising and never allow yourself to dwell pointlessly upon negative thoughts. Instead, fill your mind with the peaceful anticipation of how wonderful your new baby is going to be. I hope that the suggestions above go a long way in helping you do so, and contribute to resolving your stress and pregnancy concerns.

If you or someone you know is coping with an unusually stressful pregnancy, you should be staying abreast of all the news and tips available on the Stress and Pregnancy blog. Also, have a look at this concise, articulate video about stress and pregnancy to be better informed. Knowledge is strength!

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