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Weight gain, nausea, backaches, puffy feet, hospital bills, insomnia, irritability, having to be everywhere, and everything to everyone on low energy. This is enough to make an otherwise even-tempered person, utterly insane! Welcome to the life of pregnancy and its glorious ups and downs. How fun!
We all have those days when stressors seem to follow us around like guided missiles on a mission to completely hinder our enjoyable moments. Everyday life and its pressures can become a major drag if we don’t learn to gain control of the motions that life can throw our way. With the potential to wear us down, cultivating negative stimuli can lead to detrimental effects of the developing fetus and for the mother-to-be.
Studies show that how we handle stress as adults, is likely passed down from our parents. As if there isn’t already enough on our plates bogging us down. Many of us simply forget to take care of ourselves or simply don’t make it a priority. For pregnant women, however, not getting the right amount of rest and support that is needed can lead to more problems for the developing baby later in life.
Despite the worries, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Here are 5 tips to stay sane and balanced without acting like a complete lunatic during pregnancy.
#1) Rest is a Lifesaver
Our bodies need rest, not only to recharge, but to rejuvenate. Relaxing is so important for pregnant women (for anyone actually) because it relieves pressure and brings tension back to a healthy equilibrium, calming the baby. When we are relaxed, our brain function, as well as our mental state, improves. Did you know that pregnant women’s brains shrink a little making them susceptible to forgetfulness?
Taking as little as a few minutes out of the day for leisure and doing nothing can have profound effects on the immune system and our overall well being. Having time to gather our thoughts when the body is at ease, gives us an opportunity to make better decisions and act with rationality.
Turn off the television and light a scented candle. Put on some happy tunes while taking a warm, sensuous bubble bath. Think about a time that made you truly happy and how great it’s going to be when the new bundle of joy arrives. If a partner or friend is nearby try talking them into a relaxing massage. Not only will you feel calmer, but this is a great time to talk about any worries that are swimming around in your head.
#2) Talk It Out & Let It Go
Communicating fears is always one of the best therapeutic solutions that will take a big load off. Talking things out makes you feel cared for and hearing from another person that might have the same worries puts the mind at ease. The seemingly persistent anxiety that lingers will dissipate. You might just find that everything in your head was a figment of your imagination and that you are crazy after all. Just kidding!
Joining a pre-natal class is a useful way to learn everything you need to know about pregnancy. It offers a chance to get to know other pregnant women and a platform to ask questions and address concerns . This is especially beneficial because everyone is hormonal. They are the best people to understand what you might be going through.
If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone that is close to you, or are feeling depressed, talk to a healthcare provider. She will guide you in the right direction for help that will get you back on track.
#3) Eating Well Promotes Good Health for You & Baby
Not only is it important to nurture the body, but feed it well. Don’t just fill it up with junk like chips and cola. Hyping yourself up on sugars and fats will only make you feel worse and can lead to malnutrition. Instead choose foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. Drink plenty of water and you’re good to go.
If hunger creeps up and it’s not even lunchtime yet, snack on healthy options that give you energy and will satisfy you until the next meal. Crackers and cheese or apples and almond butter are excellent choices.
Usually as you progress further into your later trimester, your gynecologist will provide a list of nutritious foods to consume and those to avoid to ensure that your baby gets the best nutrition possible. It’s OK to splurge every once in a while and moderation is key. Just because you’re pregnant, that doesn’t give you an excuse to eat anything and everything greedily.
The little munchkin is actually taking up most of the nutrients being consumed, so make them count and don’t skimp on vitamins either. You are what you eat!
#4) Get Off Your Tush & Move Your Feet!
Wouldn’t it be nice to feel sexy and toned for the duration of your pregnancy and beyond?Well, get off your bum and move!
Pregnancy can make a woman tired and tempted to sit around all day watching mind numbing talk shows and sleeping. Only getting up once in a while to go to the refrigerator. Sleeping is great, just not all day, everyday. Unless you are directed by a doctor to be on bed rest, there really is no reason why exercise isn’t on the schedule. It will give you a boost of energy, creating blood flow and a positive mood. The increase in stamina is incentive enough.
No vigorous steps required, alas exercise should be light at this time. Just 30 minutes a day of gentle movement is all that is needed. Join Pilates or a fun yoga class that will get the heart pumping but in a less strenuous fashion.
#5) Uplift Yourself & Do Something Fun
You are literally carrying another human being for 9 months, the greatest dedication of life. So do something for yourself until your little one is here. Better yet, let someone else take care of you.
As your stomach grows, proving more difficult to bend down, treat yourself to a pedicure that includes a foot massage with the girls. Great laughs and good company are always a free added on mood-booster.
Facials also feel fantastic when you are tired, strained, and worried. Let the powers of aromatherapy and pure bliss nurture your mind, body, and soul. Many spas offer makeovers after a facial so beautify yourself. If you look better you will feel better.
Take a craft class, learn to paint, start a blog featuring talents. The options are endless and not very costly at all. Just find anything that will take your mind off the changes fogging up your brain from clarity.
Pregnancy should be a time of happiness, not unrelenting negativity. Keep things in perspective and remember to enjoy life and pregnancy will be a breeze.
If you find yourself stressing out, just breathe. Create an environment of happy vibes for yourself, because after all, soon it won’t just be about you anymore. A happy mom makes for a happy baby!
Now its your turn to soundoff! What was the most stressful time of your pregnancy and how did you handle it? What word of advice would you offer to a pregnant woman who is overwhelmed and feeling crazy? Tell us your pregnancy stories, good or bad.