Pregnancy is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding times of a woman’s life. You are experiencing major life changes, physical challenges, and a never ending to do list. It’s no wonder that pregnant women feel stressed and overwhelmed. Here are four ways to help manage stress and to have a more relaxed pregnancy:
Positive Pregnancy Affirmations
If you’ve never practiced using positive affirmations before, now is a perfect time to start. Our culture and the media often focus on pregnancy and childbirth as something dangerous and terrifying. Because of this many women have a subconscious (or even a conscious) fear of being pregnant and giving birth. This fear piles on unnecessary stress and anxiety.
You can help yourself overcome this fear by using positive affirmations. Affirmations are just beliefs we have about the world, ourselves, and even pregnancy. Sometimes these beliefs are positive, and sometimes they’re not. Positive affirmations help us to override our negative beliefs and replace them with positive ones.
Repeat affirmations to yourself each morning, right before bed, or anytime you have a moment to yourself. A common pregnancy affirmation is, “My body and baby are safe, healthy, and strong.”
One of my favorite pregnancy affirmations to use was, “My baby feels my love.” Saying these affirmations out-loud to yourself can have an even bigger impact on your mental health.
Prenatal yoga is a perfect prescription for stressed out soon-to-be mommas. It’s fun to find a class and meet other pregnant women, but you can also do yoga at home by yourself. Yoga will help stretch your body and quiet your mind. Most instructors know how to help safely stretch your hips and back so that you can find relief from back pain that is common in pregnancy.
When I took a prenatal class, the instructor had us each place our hands over our abdomen, close our eyes, and imagine our child growing within us. She then instructed us to send our love to our child. It was a great way to begin to feel connected to my baby and it really helped me to relax during my pregnancy.
Build Your Positive Pregnancy Support Team.
Hopefully you already have a doctor or midwife that you trust. If not, the sooner you find the person you trust, the more relaxed you are going to feel. Read reviews and ask your friends for recommendations.
If you plan on nursing your baby once you give birth, then look for a lactation specialist. Or even ask a good friend that you’d be comfortable receiving help from. See if your friend would be willing to come over to your house once you’re released from the hospital to help you learn how to nurse. You’ll feel more relaxed knowing someone will be there to help. Plus trying to find someone once the baby is born will be more difficult.
Guided Pregnancy Meditations and Hypnosis
With my first pregnancy, I listened to a guided pregnancy meditation every day on my commute to work. It took me through calming breathing techniques and filled my mind with positive affirmations. It helped me start each day feeling peaceful and confident.
With my second pregnancy I listened to a self-hypnosis recording twice a week while my toddler napped. When most people hear the word hypnosis they think of people on stage doing embarrassing things while everyone laughs, but hypnosis is designed to do much more than that. It can clear both conscious and subconscious fears, plus help you feel more rested and relaxed. Feeling rested can be difficult for pregnant women, but after 30 minutes of hypnosis I always woke up feeling more energized and refreshed than I felt after sleeping six hours at night.
I hope these suggestions help you find peace and encouragement during your pregnancy.