Pregnancy is the most crucial phase for both the partners. A stressful male is okay, but a childbearing woman in stress can prove dangerous for the baby. Studies have suggested that mothers who are undergoing a high level of stress or anxiety are more likely to face miscarriages and giving births to premature or underweight babies. Stress during pregnancy is very common now a days.
It is very natural for mothers-to-be to spend time in anticipating about the delivery, worrying about the baby’s health and getting cold feet for being responsible for a baby. If you feel stressed once in a while, its fine and it is also not so likely to affect your baby. But if you are stressed on a more regular basis, then you must seek help or take steps in order to feel less stressed and remain healthy mentally.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of challenges if you are mentally healthy and if you feel positive emotions like self-efficacy, self-believe, etc. you’ll be better prepared to face all of those challenges. One must believe that they are brave and empowered enough to deal with all the pain and complications that pregnancy brings along with it. Self-efficacy, i.e., one’s ability to think that he/she has whatever it takes to tackle problems is all it takes to go through any and every pregnancy.
Like what a mother eats, nourishes the baby similarly what mother thinks impacts the baby.
It’s not just the duration of the pregnancy that mental health plays a role in, it also has a lot to do with pre-pregnancy stage, i.e., when you plan to conceive.
Almost all fertility clinics in India and abroad would give great emphasis to mental health during all your attempts to get pregnant or undergoing the fertility treatment.
Some orthodox families put tremendous stress and often look down upon women who have issues in having a baby. Keeping this in mind all standard fertility clinics have an in-house counselor to help women deal with all the anxiety and stress that they undergo. Stress is one of the causes of diseases like PCOD and PCOS which makes it very tough for women to conceive.
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When you are in the course of your pregnancy, mental health must be ensured. Here, in this article, we will look at a few ways to deal with and overcome stress and all other negative emotions one may possibly feel.
Yoga and Meditation
Start your day with something as healthy as meditation. There are a lot of yoga and meditation workshops/classes which are conducted specifically for parents who are expecting babies. Both the partners can together take part in this practice, and when done together the results are even better. So join such workshops. A lot of research has suggested that meditation helps mothers-to-be to keep their stress and anxiety in control. Simple yoga exercises can be done in all stages of pregnancy.
Read a lot of positive, spiritual or self-help books. There are a lot of books which act as guidelines for your pregnancy stage and the aftermath. You could read books relating to parenting at the stage of infancy.
Reading spiritual and positive books would keep you healthy mentally. A positive mindset can counter stress and all negative emotions very efficiently. On the other hand, books about pregnancy and parenting will help you combat 0your preconceived notions and would make you more aware and informed about everything that you would go through. Reading will keep occupied and keep you away from overthinking.
Socialize! Spend time with people you enjoy being around. Don’t just sit at home alone. When you are alone, you tend to overthink, and that can bring you stress and anxiety. Join or create a support group to meet, discuss, share experiences. There are many such groups online too.
Take Naps and Rest Enough and Maintain a Sleep Cycle
Taking rest is important. Taking rest doesn’t mean you only rest. Pregnancy is not an illness, and you don’t have to be bedridden or anything. One should maintain a balance. Don’t over-exert yourself. Rest a little more than usual. Take a break from your work and avoid taking up tough or stressful assignments. You must follow the right sleep cycle. Early to be, soon to rise is ideal. Avoid sleep deprivation, sleep enough.
Watch Movies/TV series After Analyzing its Content
Analyse content to know if what you are about to watch doesn’t have any violence or aggressive acts. During your pregnancy avoid watching the action and mysterious movies. They also cause stress, the impact of such visuals is not suitable for one’s mental health.
Book yourself a spa and massage session. Spa and massage make you feel rejuvenated and fresh. It helps you do away with your stress and attain a relaxed state of mind.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Laugh often and harder. Watch comedy shows, attend standup comedy shows and practice laughter yoga. A good Laugh makes your heart feel light and happier and is very apt to reduce stress.
Talk Out Your Problems
Do not hesitate to share your issues with your dear and loved ones. Don’t keep things piled up, if things are bottled up they can cause too much stress. Do not hesitate to seek help when undergoing emotional turmoil. Sometimes talking itself reduces stress.
Make Sure Your Life At Work is Not Too Stressful
Until the maternity leave, make sure that your work environment doesn’t put you in too much stress. Avoid taking too many and challenging assignments during that period. Try to manage your tasks and time well. If you have an option, work from home. Make yourself so strong that failure doesn’t get to your head.
You must make yourself understand that your baby is the priority and if you stress too much about anything, it’ll affect your biggest priority at the moment. You have your life to work on big projects and assignments and achieve success, and your current responsibility is your baby.
Mindfulness, i.e., a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly accepting and acknowledging one’s feelings, bodily sensations and thoughts, must be practiced.
A research study was done on the effect of eight-week mindfulness program. It was found that there was a sharp decline in negative emotions like depression, stress, and anxiety as compared with a control group comprising of 19 pregnant women. When interviewed, participants stated that they are feeling very positive about life and they talked about learning to accept things as they are, rather than stressing about it.
They mentioned that they learned to stop being worried and then take conscious action rather than acting out of anger or frustration. Practicing mindfulness is a right way to counter stress.
By hook or by crook you must say bye to stress. If not for yourself, do it for the life that is dwelling within you. Face your pregnancy boldly, don’t feel faced by complications. Believe in yourself and be positive throughout. Do not hesitate to talk out your problems. Express your feelings, avoid suppressing them.