Pregnancy can be a very special time in a woman’s life but worries about your baby’s health, possible complications, impending motherhood and the birth itself can leave many expectant mothers battling anxious thoughts. Some of us may even think we need to worry to ensure we are prepared for every eventuality. However, excessive worry can never protect us from everything, all it does is stop you from enjoying your pregnancy. So if you’re expecting or would like to be one day, here’s our top tips for managing your stress and anxiety during pregnancy.
No 1 – Write Down Your Concerns
If you find yourself worrying about something that isn’t an emergency, write it down. Keep a list of questions to ask your doctor or midwife at your next appointment — then let it go. Your doctor or midwife will have heard every worry before and will be able to reassure you or look into any concerns you may have.
No 2 – Try Mindfulness
Mindfulness helps you connect with the world around you, moment to moment, and can be really helpful when you find yourself getting lots in negative thoughts. As you go about your day, pay attention to the sights, scents and other sensations around you, like the colour of the leaves or your baby’s kicks. You could also try mindfulness meditation, focusing on your breathing or the sounds around you. When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your attention back to the present moment. You can even use the breathing exercises taught in childbirth classes. While practicing deep breathing, imagine what concerns you as you’re inhaling; then, while exhaling, picture yourself releasing the thought or concern that’s on your mind.
No 3 – Rest When You Can
It might sound like a cliché but taking regular time out can have a big impact on your stress levels, especially if you lead a busy life. Schedule in some down time and tell yourself it’s OK to slow things down. Do some activities that nourish you like reading, watching your favourite TV show, baking, being creative, going for a walk or something else you enjoy.
No 4 – Ask for Help
Asking for support doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It shows strength and an ability to manage your life – and your stress levels successfully. Reach out to family or friends when you need a hand. It might be as simple as asking your partner to cook a few meals or asking for extra help with any children you already have. If you have trouble saying no or slowing down, consider asking someone to be ‘gatekeeper’ – ask your partner or someone close to you to say no for you.
No 5 – It’s OK to Enjoy Your Pregnancy!
Pregnancy really is a unique time in a woman’s life and you deserve to enjoy it. Using affirmations or positive messages we say to ourselves, can make a big difference to how you perceive yourself and your ability to cope. They help remind us of the natural ability that lies within all of us and can have a calming and empowering impact. A couple of examples of affirmations include: ‘I am happy and excited about my pregnancy and I’m looking forward to a calm, quiet, and beautiful birth’ or ‘I am strong, courageous, confident, and resilient enough to face this pregnancy’. Why not come up with a few of your own affirmations and repeat them to yourself each day. You could even combine them with deep breathing exercises for a physical and mental boost.
So there’s our top tips for reducing anxiety during pregnancy. If you feel like everything is getting on top of you and you need someone to talk to, please book a session with our me. I’m here to help you through this amazing journey.