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Monika Heft is here today to share some insight related to stress and pregnancy. Stress can significantly affect our health no matter what our life circumstances. Thus, of course it’s important to keep tabs on during pregnancy. If you are feeling stressed or worried about stress during pregnancy, I hope this helps! 

How Do You Know If You’re Too Stressed During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be a stressful time, even for relaxed moms. Luckily, your pregnancy and baby will not be impacted by stress if you are experiencing regular, everyday stress. In short, it’s totally normal to be stressed out about what you are feeling and going through. However, when  stress is continued for a more extended period, the added pressure can be potentially dangerous for your pregnancy and baby. 

Plus, if you’re stress continues after giving birth to the baby, your baby might be affected by similar stress. Moreover, a severe condition may occur if your baby grows up with pressure in his or her mind. Then, after your kid reaches teenage, you might find yourself needing to seek teen mental health treatment.

Here are some of the techniques you need to know about stress during pregnancy that can help you feel in control.

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Emotional Stress During Pregnancy:

During the nine months of your pregnancy, the body goes through so many changes. The significant emotional changes that come with those changes- including those pregnancy hormones that do a number on your moods. This makes the stress harder to handle, all the preparations necessary for the baby’s arrival, and the worry about labor and delivery- it’s no wonder you might be feeling a bit stressed while pregnant! 

However, feeling stressed during pregnancy is quite common. Moreover, not all stress is bad. Some of it can be good because it helps you to get through challenging times. This good stress keeps you on your toes, so you are motivated to take the best possible care of yourself and your baby. 

Signs of Stress During Pregnancy:

Whether you are pregnant or not, when your body is coping with stress, you can experience physical and chemical changes. However, some of the common signs of anxiety during pregnancy include the following-

  • Increase in the level of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (which can cause all of the symptoms below)
  • Increase in heart rate or heart pulsation
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Teeth grinding
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • The feeling of worry, anger, sadness, or frustration
  • Loss of interest in getting social with people

Effects of Stress During Pregnancy:

Some regular stress is okay, but too much or unchecked stress can affect your health, pregnancy, and baby. If you have a high-stress level, you may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs, or unhealthy diet. 

Too much anxiety can also lead to anxiety and depression, mental health conditions that could impact your pregnancy and your general well-being. 

A high level of stress can also worsen any chronic conditions you might have and make you more susceptible to illness. However, if your stress level remains high for a more extended period, it could also lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. 

Can Stress During Pregnancy Hurt Your Baby?

Chronic stress during pregnancy won’t harm the baby. But extreme, regular, and long-time pressure can increase the following risks-

  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm delivery
  • Low birth weight baby
  • Developmental delays in the baby

Babies born too early or underweight can go through various complications as compared to normal babies.

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Tips for Managing Stress During Pregnancy:

It should be a priority for all moms-to-be to learn how to handle stress to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. So, try the below techniques to manage your stress during pregnancy:

Talk about it-

All expectant mothers go through similar experiences and may feel freaked out about facing labor, and so on. Suppose you are among the expectant mothers who are going through the exact thoughts. So, try to reach out to people who are pregnant or new mothers. Friends, relatives, and chat groups are great resources for emitting. Sharing your feelings and searching like-minded belly mates can help you get a handle on stress during pregnancy.

Follow zen-

Following deep meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and brisk walking are effective ways to lower cortisol levels and encourage endorphins- known as feel-good brain chemicals to improve your mood. Find a relaxation method that works for you and make it a part of your routine. 

Ask for a helping hand-

If you feel affected, gather friends or family members to help you set up the nursery, provide diapers, or pick up that bag of hand-me-down maternity clothes. In other words, if there is a task you can delegate, do not hesitate to ask for a helping hand. You will observe that people are happier to help you and make you feel less stressed. 

Take sufficient rest-

Sufficient sleep not only helps you to get recharged but also to regenerate. Less sleep can increase stress levels and make coping with any stress you already have more stressful. So, you need to break this cycle and get proper sleep each night. A warm bath, a cup of hot tea, and some soothing music can help you get into sleep mode. 

Get a proper diet-

With the ongoing stress during your pregnancy, it is easy to neglect to focus on taking good care of yourself. But treating yourself well, which primarily includes staying hydrated and eating well, will keep you energetic and lower your anxiety. Eat nutrition-rich food filled with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. If you do not have time to make a healthy meal, then grab something from the fridge. 

Work it out-

Exercise is one of the best stress-busters as working out encourages feel-good endorphins and lowers the stress level. But be clear to consult your doctor about what type of exercise you can do safely during your pregnancy.

Start thinking about the baby-

Every time you are stressed out, your blood pressure rises. So, rather than getting anxious, you need to start thinking about your baby. Make a strong bond with your baby and find reasons to become happy. Start picking up some essentials you will need before your newborn arrives. 

Final Thoughts

Even after trying the above techniques, if you feel stressed and cannot find another way to handle it; then, the last option is to talk to your doctor. Pregnancy anxiety should be treated in a timely manner, so do not hesitate or delay to speak up with your professional. 

Are you feeling stressed during pregnancy? What coping strategies help you? We’re here for you!