No I’m not expecting. That ship has long since sailed, but I have several family members and close friends that are currently very pregnant so it’s still a topic near and dear to my heart. No two experiences are the same. There is no doubt that the period when you’re expecting a baby is one of the most exciting things in the world. Whether it’s your first pregnancy or it’s something that you’ve experienced before, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing that positive test result. So many feels…
Of course, no matter how exciting it might be, you also need to consider the fact that pregnancy, to no one’s surprise, takes a pretty long time. Nine months might not seem all that long at the start but it can often drag on a lot. Especially those last few weeks…oh man I don’t miss those days.
Stress is stress is stress…
One of the things that happens to a lot of pregnant women is that they end up having to deal with a lot of stress during this time. Whether that’s because of the pregnancy itself or simply because life likes to throw curveballs at you at every opportunity, it’s really not something you want to have to deal with while your body is going through all sorts of serious changes. Stress during pregnancy can not only make your life a whole lot harder but it can have a potentially negative impact on both you and your baby. With that in mind, here are just a few things that you can do in order to reduce your stress levels during pregnancy.
Take care of your body
When your pregnant, your body is going to end up going through changes that you never even thought would be possible. You might think that, because of movies and TV, you’ve got a pretty solid idea of what to expect but that simply is not the case. It’s not just your growing stomach that you need to worry about. Your entire body is going to start changing. Sure, your stomach is going to change pretty drastically and doing things like moisturizing your belly can not only help reduce stretch marks but also make your skin feel a lot less irritated as it stretches. You’re also likely to have to deal with things like swollen hands and feet as well as the feeling of a growing person pressing against your bladder all day long. Because of all of this, you want to be sure that you’re taking the best care of yourself possible during your pregnancy so that you don’t have to add feeling physically miserable on top of any stress you’re already dealing with.
We all need a break from time to time. This is true for just about all of us but there are very few times where you could do with a good pampering more than when you’re pregnant. Between your body’s changes, morning sickness, planning for the baby’s arrival, and all of the other things that you’re dealing with, it can often get a little bit overwhelming and the best thing to do is to take a load off every so often. Go for a spa day, see some friends in a relaxed setting, or just spend all day long with a good book letting your partner wait on you hand and foot! There’s nothing wrong with taking some “me” time while you’re pregnant. After all, you’re not going to get a whole lot of “me” time when the new baby arrives.
Don’t count the days
Easier said than done I know. It can be so tempting to cross the days off your calendar as your pregnancy progresses. It’s the kind of thing that we all expect to do. It’s a bit like waiting for Christmas only it takes much longer and you have to deal with feeling nauseous for half of it. You might even have a literal calendar set up with your due date at the end of it. However, this is, in all honesty, a terrible idea! For one thing, due dates are notoriously inaccurate. The truth is that your due date is what amounts to a best guess on the part of your doctor and pinning all of your hopes on that one day can either leave you feeling frustrated when it comes and goes with nothing or panicked if your baby decides to arrive a few days early. Not only that but counting the days is a guaranteed way to make sure that your pregnancy feels as long as possible. The best thing that you can do is to live your life as normal the best you can.
Do your research
Now, this is not to say that you need to spend every moment of your pregnancy with your face buried in a copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” After all, there are only so many times you can read through the pregnancy and baby books before you have them memorized cover to cover. However, a lot of us hear all sorts of pregnancy and birth horror stories from TV and even friends and family. However, many of these stories are either greatly exaggerated or are incredibly unlikely. Doing your research means that you’re in a far better position to know what is and isn’t likely to happen to you, which makes it much easier to avoid panicking when someone at work tells you all the ways that their pregnancy made their life a misery.
Commemorate the time
One of the things that a lot of mothers tend to notice is that, despite the fact that they spent the vast majority of their pregnancy wishing that it would go faster, there’s a certain sense of missing it once it’s over. After all, pregnancy is this incredible thing that you go through but, in the long run, it’s a very brief period that’s over surprisingly quickly. So why not take a bit of time to commemorate your pregnancy? There are plenty of ways that you can do this. You could keep a diary of your thoughts, your feelings, and the changes your body is going through. That way, in the future you can read through it and take yourself back to that time. Or, why not have someone take a photo of you every day during your pregnancy. It’s hard to see how much you’re growing in real-time but seeing the whole nine months laid out together can be amazing to look at.
Pregnancy is exciting! A lot of the time the conversation around pregnancy is dominated by how difficult and unpleasant it can be but the truth is that it’s one of the most exciting times in your entire life! It’s okay to be excited about it and what it means. Why not share that excitement with the people in your life? Send out birth announcement cards, insist on a baby shower so that you can be the centre of the attention for a while! Celebrate your pregnancy and what it means for yours and your partner’s lives. It’s not something that most people get to do all that often so why not enjoy it while you have the chance! Not only will this make your life far more pleasant but feeling positive about it will even make the whole thing feel like it’s going a lot faster!
Let people take care of you
I cannot stress this enough. Take the help because sadly, it won’t last forever. Routines will get back to some resemblance of normal so let people dote on you — you’ve done enough for a while. If there’s one thing that just about all pregnant women can agree on it’s that suddenly being treated like you can’t do a single thing for yourself can be pretty grating. Sure, it’s refreshing at first but after a while, you start to feel more like a child than anything else. People seem to assume that you’re incapable of looking after yourself. Sure, holding onto your independence is always an important thing while you’re pregnant, but it’s important to remember that there’s a reason why people tend to try and go out of their way for someone who’s pregnant. Your body is going through someone incredibly serious and you’re simply not going to be able to do the kinds of things that you were able to before. So, even if it involves swallowing your pride, let people take care of you. Let your partner and the other people in your life dote on you for at least a little while. You might well miss it when it’s over.
Of course, there are always going to be things that cause you stress during your pregnancy. For one thing, it can often be a pretty difficult time with a lot of things that can change and that won’t necessarily go according to plan. Not only that but there simply aren’t always things that you can do about the stress that life piles on you from time to time. If you find yourself feeling seriously stressed out during your pregnancy, don’t panic. A bit of stress here and there isn’t going to cause you or your baby any serious problems and panicking is only ever going to make the situation a whole lot worse. Understanding how to properly deal with and respond to stress is the best thing that you can do in order to make sure that your pregnancy is the most relaxed and pleasant experience it can possibly be. And hey, before you know it, it will be over and you’ll have a new member of the family to welcome into the world!
Do you have any tips for getting through pregnancy with as little stress as possible? What worked or didn’t work for you? What was the most stressful part for you? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!