During pregnancy, women undergo a series of physical changes. In their effort to cope with these sudden changes, often, pregnant women feel stressed.
Although short-term stress is not harmful during pregnancy, prolonged stress can cause serious harm to the developing fetus.
Risks of stress during pregnancy
When we feel stressed our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises. If a pregnant woman is stressed for a long period, the high blood pressure and the rapid heartbeat could be detrimental for the health of the mother and the fetus. Stress makes pregnant women vulnerable to respiratory infections.
Although, common cold and coughs do not cause harm to the fetus, flu and cold during pregnancy will further increase your discomfort. Preterm delivery and low birth weight are sometimes associated with prolonged severe stress. The rising blood pressure level could increase the risk of preeclampsia. If a pregnant woman is overwhelmed with negative thoughts during pregnancy, she tends to overeat or skip meals, smoke, increase caffeine consumption and drink alcohol. These stress related behaviors can cause severe complications.
Stress management during pregnancy
Modify your lifestyle
To cope with pregnancy stress, you should modify your lifestyle. As pregnancy advances, you should make adjustments in your busy regular schedule. You need more rest. You should be mentally prepared to accept the physical changes and discomfort associated with pregnancy. Do not overwork. Accept works that are satisfying and compatible with your pregnancy related lifestyle.
Increase communication with your loved ones. Share your feelings with your partner, parents and close friends and relatives. Seek medical advice to overcome stressful situation. By talking with others, you can easily tackle your physical and emotional discomfort.
Moderate to mild exercises can help you cope with stress during pregnancy. Walking and swimming can help to lift your moods. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises could help to reduce stress. You can relax your muscles and mind with a body massage. Plan your exercise schedule according to your doctor’s advice.
During pregnancy, women need enough rest. A sound sleep in the night and a short nap during the day helps to calm the mind.