Stress is epidemic in our society. The negative effects of stress on our health and emotional well being are well documented by years of research. Pregnancy can be a time of great stress, even when the baby is planned and very much wanted. Although there has not been any definitive proof that normal stress can negatively affect the baby, a high level of stress for a prolonged period of time can be dangerous. Extreme stress can cause problems such as high blood pressure, which can put you and your baby at risk. Here are some tips that may help.
The first step to relieving stress during pregnancy, and for that matter, any other time, is to determine the cause. What is making you feel stressed? You may want to keep a journal to help determine the root of your stress. Sometimes the cause is obvious, such as financial pressures. Often the cause is not as obvious and a journal can help you sort it out. Once you have determined the cause, you can take some steps to solve the problem.
If the cause of your stress is too many obligations, you may need to prioritize. It is unlikely you will be able to keep up with a busy schedule full of work, volunteer and other obligations after the baby is born. Now is the perfect time to cut back and simplify your schedule. Make a list of everything you do every day. Once it is all on paper, you will be able to see where you can make changes. You may need to learn to say no when you are asked to serve on a committee or volunteer your time.
If the cause of your stress is financial, you may need to take stock of your finances and make some decisions. The best way to start is by listing every dime you spend over the course of a month or two. Include not only your regular bills, but every thing you buy, everywhere you go and how much money you spend. This will help you figure out where the money goes each month and help you get a handle on your finances.
Maybe you want to stay home with the baby and don’t know if you can afford it. Once you have determined where your money is spent, you can create a budget. This will help you figure out if you can afford to stay home or if you must return to work. Include all your bills, food, gas and other regular monthly expenses. Include the costs of working, such as daycare, wardrobe, additional gas and other work related expenses.
Whatever the cause, there are many things you can do to relieve stress. You need to find a method that suits your personality and will work for you. Many women find that just talking to someone helps relieve your stress. It’s important to find the right person to talk to when you feel stressed. Choose upbeat, positive people to talk to when you feel stress. A close friend or your spouse may be able to help you work out your feelings.
If you don’t have anyone to talk to, consider seeing a counselor. A few sessions with a counselor may help you work out your feelings and relieve your stress. If you are feeling depressed, speak to your doctor. He may be able to refer you to a professional for counseling.
There is a variety of stress relieving activities that may help you feel better.
Some women relieve stress through exercise, such as prenatal yoga. The deep breathing and calm atmosphere is very relaxing.
Deep breathing and relaxation exercises may also be helpful.
Other women find meditation or prayer to be effective for relieving stress.
A massage may help relieve stress. Look for a practitioner who is experienced at massage for pregnant women.
Getting enough rest is important for relieving stress. Get to bed earlier at night and take a nap during the day to help you stay calm and focused.