Pregnancy can be a wonderful time full of exciting transitions. However, it can also bring on new changes and challenges that cause stress. In fact, up to 84% of women deal with perinatal stress, and 17% experience perinatal anxiety. If you’re feeling the stress as an expectant mother, this article will walk you through tips and tricks to have a safe pregnancy with more me-time during pregnancy.
How Dangerous is Stress During Pregnancy?
Unfortunately, stress can have some rather serious side effects during and after pregnancy. Research shows that there are negative health issues for both mother and baby. For example, as a mother, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure and other signs of damage to the organs. If that wasn’t concerning enough, stress is also linked to a higher likelihood of drinking alcohol or smoking while pregnant, which could lead to further health risks. Of course, you never want to harm yourself or your baby, but stress can lead to poor choices.
It’s also worth noting that stress can increase the risk of miscarriages, preterm deliveries, and low birth weight. Plus, after the baby is born, they’re more likely to struggle with regulating their own behavior and have issues with brain development. They will also face a higher likelihood of obesity and poor heart health.
As you can see, stress and anxiety can hurt both mother and baby. It can even lower your chances of having a safe pregnancy, as stress may drive you to partake in dangerous behaviors, like smoking. It can also lead to developmental issues for the baby after birth, so avoiding stress is critical.
What Causes Stress During Pregnancy?
Before we discuss how to avoid stress during the pregnancy, it’s important to understand the causes of stress that could limit you from a safe pregnancy. You may experience stress due to:
- Discomforts of pregnancy, like morning sickness, backaches, fatigue, and constipation
- Changing hormones which can cause mood swings
- Preparing your job tasks for others to take over once you go on maternity leave
- Worries over whether you’re doing everything right during the pregnancy
- Worries over what to expect during labor, birth, and baby care
How to Avoid Stress During the Pregnancy
So, what to do against stress during pregnancy? Read on to find out!
1. Mindfulness in Pregnancy
If you struggle with the stress and fear of the unknown, mindfulness in pregnancy is key. Mindfulness has been proven to help manage anxiety, chronic pain, and postpartum depression. Studies also show that women who fear childbirth tend to have longer labor than those who don’t, so mastering your stress with mindfulness could ensure better delivery results.
You can practice mindfulness via a seated meditation, walking meditation, breathwork, or yoga. Try several options til you find one that works for you. And be sure to follow us on Instagram for helpful mindfulness in pregnancy tips!
Studies suggest that pregnant women tend to have lower self-esteem and self-acceptance. With internal and external bodily changes, this is a hard time on your self-image. However, accepting yourself is critical for lowering stress. In fact, greater self-acceptance improves your overall emotional well-being.
To improve self-acceptance, you must practice self-regulation. This involves noticing when you have negative thoughts and refocusing your thoughts to focus on positive elements of yourself. There’s also evidence that contributing to your family, community, or workplace can bolster your confidence.
Getting to a place of self-acceptance is definitely easier said than done, so don’t be too hard on yourself! Remember, there’s no such thing as perfect. Just show up and do your best to enjoy the messy and beautiful journey of motherhood and life.
3. Me-Time During Pregnancy
Finding me-time during pregnancy can also lower stress levels. Refocusing on yourself can help you remember the things you love about yourself, boosting your self-image. Creating self-care rituals can help you find me-time during pregnancy, no matter where you are.
At MeBloom, we create products designed to help you destress and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Since these marks can result from a high level of cortisol, the stress hormone, finding ways to destress is so important! Our nourishing mask is designed to diminish the appearance of stretch marks and soothe the skin, all while relaxing you - win-win. For the best results, leave the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes and find a little zen moment - you deserve it!