- by Dr Jameela Khalid
- 0 Shares
- Apr 22 2017
Ways to survive stress in pregnancy
It is bad for my baby if I'm stressed?
Rest assured that if you are stressed you will most likely go on to have a healthy baby. It's normal to be a bit stressed about the changes that are happening in your life and to your body.
But if you're stressed and anxious day in, day out, ask your midwife or doctor for help. Continuous, high levels of anxiety may affect your baby. That's because the stress hormone cortisol can cross the placenta and influence the building blocks of your baby’s emotional development.
Of course, many complex factors will shape your baby's eventual ability to learn and relate to the world. But it makes sense, for your sake and your baby's, to tackle stress now.
How can I reduce stress during pregnancy?
Here are 10 positive steps you can take:
1. Rest and focus on your baby
It's good for you and your baby if you can relax, so don't feel guilty about it. Take time out to focus on your bump. Chat and sing to your unborn baby. From about 23 weeks, he can hear you! This will also help you to bond with your baby when he's born.
Listen to your body. If you're feeling exhausted, go to bed early. Your body is working hard to nourish your growing baby and you need all the sleep you can get.
2. Talk about it
If you have worries about your baby's wellbeing, or a personal matter, you can always turn to your midwife for reassurance. Don’t be frightened to admit how you are truly feeling. If you are honest, you are more likely to get the support you need.
Talk to your partner too. You may discover that you share similar worries, or that your partner has concerns you didn't know about. Talking things through can make you both feel better.
3. Eat well
Eating well is good for your mind as well as your body. A healthy diet of omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, can lift your mood.
Keep an eye on how much water you're drinking, as dehydration may affect your mood. Dehydration can also make you more prone to headaches. Aim for six to eight glasses (about 1.5 litres) of fluid a day.
4. Take exercise
Exercise can improve your mood. It's perfectly safe to exercise during pregnancy. If you didn't exercise before you were pregnant, now might be a good time to start. Make it gentle exercise, though.
Swimming is ideal, as it keeps you toned, without being too hard on your joints.
Pregnancy yoga not only tones and stretches your body, but teaches you breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques. These techniques are good for helping you to control your anxieties.
5. Prepare for birth
Learn more about what happens during labour by signing up for antenatal classes. You can also take free online antenatal classes with BabyCentre.
If your fear of birth is so overwhelming that you would rather have a caesarean than a vaginal birth, talk to your midwife or doctor. The right support may help you to overcome
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