Do deep breathing exercises.,
Try progressive muscle relaxation.,
Do visualization exercises.,
Get a massage.,
Engage in regular self-care.,
Engage in light exercise.,
Get enough sleep.,
Watch your diet.,
Reduce your caffeine intake.,
See a therapist.,
Take medication under your doctor’s supervision.,
Join a support group.,
Educate yourself about pregnancy.,
Practice positive thinking.,
Learn how to say “no.” If you’re a woman who’s guilty of playing superhero, being pregnant is an experience that forces you to cut back.,
Say “yes” to offers to help.
Taking slow, controlled breaths stimulates your body’s natural relaxation response. Breathing deeply helps slow the heart rate, relieve muscle tension, and promote sleep. Plus, of all relaxation techniques, deep breathing is the most accessible to pregnant mothers—you can do this almost anywhere.
For beginners, try deep breathing at home where you can sit or lie in quiet without interruptions. Sit comfortably on a couch or floor cushion. Or, lie down on your left side with a pillow beneath your right side (and a pillow between your legs, if desired).
Breathe in through your nose, noticing your abdomen expanding gently. Hold the breath for a few counts and then exhale through your mouth. You should see your abdomen deflating a little as you release the air. Repeat as needed.;
, This exercise helps you develop self-awareness to the tension in your body. You can do this in different settings to help you control your anxiety. To start, choose a place that is quiet and distraction-free.
Sit or lie down comfortably. Start at your head (or your toes) and gradually move up through your body contracting and relaxing different muscle groups.
For example, if you start at your head, you will wrinkle your forehead and eyebrows for a few seconds. Notice the tension. Then, release these muscles and notice how the tension melts away. Move on the next muscle group until you complete the entire body., Visualization, or guided imagery, is a relaxation technique that can help you achieve calm by envisioning a peaceful, stress-free environment. You can listen to a recorded audio/video of these exercises on YouTube or you can simply use your imagination.As an example, imagine that you are walking along a windy, sunny beach. Activate all your senses to hear the roaring waves as they meet the shore. Listen to birds circling overhead. Smell the salty water. Feel the sand in between your toes and the water as it washes it clean with each wave.
Perform this visualization exercise for as long as you’d like to relax after a stressful day.
, Massage is a wonderful treat for soothing your tired muscles during pregnancy. Luckily, massage therapy also offers a host of benefits like reducing joint and muscle pain, decreasing anxiety, reducing depressive symptoms, and improving labor outcomes.You can spring for a professional massage at a spa with a certified massage therapist, or you can ask your partner to massage your achy muscles.
, In addition to using relaxation techniques to relieve stress, you may also find relaxation while engaging in soothing activities. Self-care is a terrific way to manage your anxiety on a daily basis by taking time out to do things that bring you pleasure.
Self-care activities that help you ease tension and anxiety will depend on your individual preferences. Activities may include taking a relaxing soak in the tub, reading a new book, listening to music, chatting with your best friend, or watching the sunset.
, Certain types of yoga, gentle stretching, walking, and swimming are all generally approved for pregnant women. In addition to combating stress, getting your body and your baby moving has many advantages, such as promoting better sleep, improving mood and energy, and minimizing pregnancy complications like constipation, bloating and backaches. Staying active while pregnant also lowers your risk of getting gestational diabetes.Although exercise is usually recommended by your doctor, be sure to discuss it with him or her beforehand to verify that it’s okay in your situation.
, Pregnancy can result in sleep disturbances for women who’ve never had trouble getting shut-eye. Side effects of pregnancy like nausea, stress, and changing hormone levels all play a role in you not getting enough rest. Although getting adequate sleep can be challenging, there are tips you can follow to improve your sleep quality and quantity. These include:Doing relaxation exercise to manage stress.
Exercising at least 30 minutes per day (as long as your doctor says it’s okay).
Sleeping on your left side to improve blood flow and comfort.
Cutting back on fluids a few hours before bed.
Eating several small meals throughout the day and avoiding spicy, fried, or acidic foods that cause heartburn.
Not forcing yourself to sleep; if you can’t go to sleep, get up and do something like reading, journaling, or taking a bath.
, Consuming whole foods with adequate nutrients not only supports your physical health but will also help you manage anxiety. Choose balanced and nutritious foods, including fruit and vegetables, lean sources of protein, seafood (which has been shown to ease anxiety), whole grains, and healthy fats found in nuts, avocadoes, and olive oil.Pregnant women should avoid raw eggs, soft mould-ripened cheeses, deli meats, uncooked or partially cooked meat, and fish with high mercury content. In addition refrain from drinking alcohol and caffeine to prevent complications., It is important to cut back on your caffeine intake during pregnancy because caffeine may cross the placenta and increase your baby’s heartrate.However, cutting back on caffeine may also help to reduce your anxiety.
Avoid having more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. This is about the equivalent of two 8 ounce cups of brewed coffee.
, If you have trouble managing anxiety and stress on your own, schedule an appointment with a mental health provider. A therapist with experience treating anxiety in pregnancy can work with you to relieve worries and concerns and promote relaxation.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be particularly effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders.Consider this option before pharmacological treatments, as there is little research to show how anxiety medications affect your baby.
You may also want to discuss non-pharmacological options with your therapist, such as biofeedback, pet therapy, and outdoor therapy.
, If your anxiety is severe, your doctor may recommend that you take prescription medication to manage your symptoms. You may have some concerns about how anxiety medications will affect your baby. There may be some risks depending on what medication you take.Therefore, if you are unable to reduce anxiety on your own, or if you are suffering from anxiety and depression at the same time, medication may be a practical option. Your doctor may suggest medication to minimize the likelihood of these conditions worsening or evolving into more severe conditions like postpartum depression or psychosis.
Talk with your doctor to determine if medication is a good choice for your situation.
, Leaning on your network of family and friends is incredibly important to reducing your stress and anxiety during pregnancy. However, it can also help to express your feelings and concerns in a support group with others who are experiencing anxiety, too.Talk to your doctor or mental health provider to help you locate a local support group for pregnant women. These other women can help alleviate fears, answer common questions and ease concerns you have as your pregnancy progresses.
, If this is your first pregnancy, much of your anxiety may come from feeling unprepared. Reading up on pregnancy as well as talking with your doctor and health care providers can help you feel better equipped to handle the next several months. Feeling informed can address many of your worries and concerns and reduce the stress that you are experiencing.While becoming informed about pregnancy may be empowering to some women, in others, it may heighten anxiety. If certain information you read about pregnancy creates anxiety within you, limit your exposure to this kind of literature. Plus, if you read something in a book or online that causes concern, speak with your doctor so that they can address your concerns and alleviate your worries.
, It can be easy to fall into a negative thinking trap when you are pregnant. You may find yourself thinking about a lot of worse-case scenarios that only heighten your anxiety. Attack negative thought patterns and “what ifs” with positive thinking.When you find yourself thinking negatively or worrying, talk to your partner, a close friend or a family member who can help you put your fears into perspective. Simply say “I’m really worried that my baby will be premature…” This person can provide a realistic sounding board for you.
You can also challenge such thoughts on your own by stopping yourself and replacing such worries with more positive statements. For example, you say “I’m really worried that my baby will be premature…” To combat these worries, remind yourself that the majority of pregnancy complications won’t actually happen, but, if they do, you will take the necessary actions to ensure your baby’s health.
, It’s impossible and probably risky for you to maintain the same levels of activity and obligations as you did before your pregnancy. Force yourself to take it easy and start bowing out of excessive responsibilities. Say “no” to unreasonable demands on your time. Look through your daily routine and search for ways you can cut back on duties or include more rest and relaxation. You may be feeling stressed because you are trying to wear all the hats you did before you had a growing baby inside of you.
, Another way to manage stress during pregnancy is to accept your friends’ and relatives’ offers to assist you. Don’t try to do it all yourself. At some point near the end of your pregnancy, you will have to loosen the reins and start letting others help out more anyway. If you’re already feeling stressed, start early and delegate chores and tasks to those around you. Odds are, they will be happy to lighten your load.