7 Secrets to a Healthy and Stress Free Pregnancy : From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, everything is different. Expecting a new baby is truly a blessing, but dealing with all the radical changes of pregnancy and the arrival of your new little one can be stressful.
Suddenly your body is changing at a rapid pace, you’re experiencing dramatic emotional highs and lows, you’ve got new financial concerns, and on top of all that, you need to prepare your home for a new family member.
But, stress can really affect your health and your growing baby. Here are our secrets to a healthy and stress free pregnancy.
1. Try Prenatal Massage
Prenatal massage is a totally safe and natural way to reduce stress, depression, fatigue, mental strain, and anxiety during pregnancy, but we discovered that it can do so much more than that! We spoke with well-known prenatal massage specialists in New York, NY, and they told us that prenatal massage can target the unique needs of expectant mothers during each trimester.
According to our experts, additional benefits of prenatal massage include:
- Relief of muscle cramps and spasms
- Reduction of joint, back, and neck pain
- Relief of digestive and elimination problems
- Improved blood and oxygen flow for mom and baby
- Lower blood pressure
- Relief of varicose veins
- Reduction of swelling and edema
Receiving prenatal massage regularly during pregnancy can also provide some pretty amazing benefits during labor and delivery. According to this study, women who receive prenatal massage throughout their pregnancy have shorter delivery times, require less pain medication, and request fewer epidurals. Not only that, but the need for cesarean births is also cut in half! If you only have time to try one thing to reduce stress during your pregnancy, prenatal massage is probably the way to go.
2. Join a Prenatal Yoga Class
Prenatal yoga is another healthy and natural way to reduce anxiety and stress during pregnancy. Your body changes at an accelerated rate during pregnancy and prenatal yoga can support your body through those changes. It’s a safe way to strengthen your muscles and stretch the tendons that support your growing belly.
The pelvic floor muscles, abdominal core muscles, and hips are toned during prenatal yoga, which helps to prepare the body for labor and delivery. By keeping your muscles toned throughout your pregnancy, you can minimize the aches and pains that are so common during those nine months. Not only that, but it will also help you get back in shape faster after your baby is born.
When you attend a prenatal yoga class, you will also learn mindful breathing techniques that can help your body relax and loosen up during labor and delivery. Some other benefits include relief of common pregnancy complaints like insomnia, headaches, morning sickness, shortness of breath, and lower back pain. And finally, attending a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other expecting mothers to share your journey with. Having a good support system can go a long way toward relieving stress during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
With all the demands of today’s hectic lifestyle, finding time to rest and relax can be a challenge. Now, you’ve got to find time for doctor’s appointments and preparing for your new baby, too. So, finding time to get some extra rest is probably easier said than done. However, it is super important for coping with stress, not to mention the health of your growing baby.
Creating a new life puts a lot of demand on your body, so you’re going to have to get creative about sneaking in some extra rest. During your lunch break at work, find somewhere quiet where you can put your feet up and relax. At home, it’s ok to let some things go when you’re tired… this is not the time to stress about a perfectly spotless house.
If you have older children at home, it’s ok to ask for help when you need a break. Ask your partner, a trusted friend, or a relative to take the kids for an hour or two so you can get some well-deserved rest. It’s ok to do just do nothing sometimes, especially when you’re pregnant.
4. Pay Attention to Your Diet
Eating healthy during pregnancy is so important, not just for your growing baby, but for you as well. Your diet should focus on leafy green veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates throughout your pregnancy. Just like any other time in life, avoid refined sugars and carbs. Eating regular, healthy meals will help to reduce mood swings and keep nausea at bay.
5. Stay Active
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and stay healthy during pregnancy, whether you’re pregnant or not! Of course, you’ll need to lower the intensity and length of your workouts as your pregnancy progresses. Swimming and walking are two great ways to get some exercise during pregnancy, but many other types of exercise can be adapted for safety, too. Talk to your doctor before you get started to make sure he’s on board.
6. Get Away from it All
Whether it’s lunch and shopping while pregnant with a good friend, or a weekend away with your partner, making the time to get away from it all can really help to keep stress in check. Indulge yourself with a pedicure, go get your hair done, or just chill on the couch and watch a funny movie. Even a temporary escape from everyday life can help the tension and stress melt away.
7. Make a Budget and Prioritize
Financial stress can be an issue any time, but when you’re expecting, it takes on a whole new level. Instead of worrying about all the things you need to buy for the baby, sit down and make a plan. Write a list of the things you need for the baby, and then prioritize it according to what you’ll have to have right away and what can wait until later. Then, set a budget on what you can afford to spend and buy the most important things first. There’s no reason to buy everything at once!
While pregnancy can be a stressful time in a woman’s life, it should also be a blessed and joyful time, too! These seven secrets to a healthy and stress free pregnancy will make your journey more pleasant so that you can focus on creating happy memories of this time with your partner.
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