Pregnancy, while a beautiful and wonderful thing, can also be hugely stressful. It’s a time of massive change, both physically and emotionally. If it’s your first pregnancy, then your life is about to change forever. Not only will you trying to prepare mentally for something which is impossible to prepare for, but you will also be mourning the passing of your current life.. the end of an era.. the end of the time when it was just the two of you. None of this is insignificant.
By the end, you’re more than ready to give birth. Even the easy pregnancies can make you feel like this. Looking back, I can safely say that first time around, I pretty much had a stress free pregnancy. I hardly noticed I was pregnant, other than the obvious bump that was growing … My life just carried on as normal. I hardly had any symptoms or challenges and yet, by the last month I was done with it. The night-time peeing, the inability to lie on your back in bed, not being able to reach your feet… I could go on!
Compared to my first pregnancy, my second pregnancy was a total nightmare and I was done in by month 5! As well as having a load more pregnancy symptoms, those that I had were cranked up to max… it all felt pretty hardcore. The idea of a stress free pregnancy seemed very far away at that point. My pregnant state was totally stressing me out!
Why have a stress free pregnancy?
De-stressing in your pregnancy should really be up there on the list of important pregnancy to-do’s along with eating well, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes and staying fit. After all, we do all this “for baby” and yet de-stressing is as important as all of these and here’s why…
Do it for baby!
When we’re pregnant, we’re bombarded with lists of all the things that we should stop doing, eating and drinking. But nobody tells us that we should stop with the stressing too. Admittedly , is not such as easy one to fix, but given that we know there are links between maternal stress and the health and wellbeing of the baby, de-stressing should definitely be on that list.
And, for those of you who are hopeless at doing anything worthwhile for yourselves, but don’t hesitate doing something for others, then this your chance to shine. Not only will baby thank you for putting the effort into aiming for a stress free pregnancy, but you’ll love yourself for it too! “if I can’t do this for me, I must at least try for my baby’s sake”
Your hormones are going to go crazy during your pregnancy and it’s possible that your mind will be unrecognisable. In my first pregnancy, my hormones were very well behaved, but in my second pregnancy they were vicious little beasts. The thing with hormones is that they amplify what you’re feeling, so if you’re feeling delicate and vulnerable then by the time your hormones have finished with you, you’ll be sobbing in a pile of tissues over even the tiniest thing. So to help you manage the hormonal craziness, it’s worth taking the time to de-stress and be calm, otherwise a stress-free pregnancy will be but a dream.
Stresses change throughout your pregnancy
One thing I noticed, was that my stresses had a life all of their own during my pregnancies. They would come and go, evolve, disappear. New ones would show up, some would increase, others would disappear as quickly as they arrived. My hormones clearly didn’t help me with my aim of a stress free pregnancy, but given that it’s a period enormous change, on the inside and the outside, this is not entirely surprising.
So as you think about your stresses, bear in mind that you need to
• Consider where you are in your pregnancy
• Remain self aware and revisit them often so that you capture the new ones that have popped into your life
It’s a time of huge change in your life, but we’re adaptable beings. And for some of us, once we get used to something, the stress that it might have caused us initially, starts to subside. But that often means that new stresses jump right in to replace them – it did for me anyhow!
If you’re pregnant, what kind of thing stresses you out? When you were pregnant, was there anything in particular that you found particularly stressful? If so, how did you cope with it? Let me know in the comments.