Only a mother can understand the joy and blessing of being a mother. However, the physical changes that women go through during this phase can often leave them overwhelmed and stressed. Moreover, there’s also the burden of preparing for the baby. As a result, many pregnant women complain of worries and stress.
Constant stress can cause inflammation in the stomach and it is bad not just for the mother but also for the baby. This is why mothers need to participate in activities that can help them relax.
7 things to do and stay relaxed during pregnancy
Taking a Walk
Doctors recommend pregnant women walk every day for at least 30 minutes. This is because walking on a regular basis in pregnancy helps get rid of stress and it also improves the health of the mother.
Walking releases endorphins in the brain which produces an analgesic effect. Other than that, endorphins also help in relaxing and uplifting the mood.
How Walking Helps Relax?
When a mother walks for at least 30 minutes, she adapts to a meditative state. In this state:
- The heart rate reduces.
- Blood pressure decreases.
- Blood circulation increases.
- Anxiety reduces.
- Cardiovascular system is strengthened which is good for giving birth.
Therefore, walking for 30 minutes every day will help pregnant women de-stress themselves and improve the health condition of their bodies at the same time.
However, make sure not to put a lot of strain on your body and consult your doctor before you start any physical activity.
Stay Hydrated At All Times
According to WebMD, staying dehydrated for long can cause cortisol levels to increase. This is extremely dangerous for mothers because increased levels of cortisol increase stress and cause a lot of other problems, too.
Higher levels of cortisol can cause fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritation, and muscle weakness as well. The most effective way of keeping the cortisol levels balanced is by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.
A pregnant woman should drink at least 10 glasses of water per day and even more if she feels dehydrated. This equals 2.5L of water.
Exercising will help you eliminate stress from your body and make you feel relaxed. The feeling of calmness that one feels after exercising is actually the endorphins being released into the brain. They cause the body to feel relaxed.
However, you need to be careful about the exercises you perform. Speak to your doctor and a fitness trainer to come up with a regimen. It’s very important as performing wrong exercises can lead to serious complications.
You don’t need to perform heavy exercises to get rid of stress. A few stretches and deep breaths will do the trick.
Deep Breathes: Sit cross legged. Raise both your hands above your head (not fully). Keep them where they aren’t exerting a lot of stretches. Now, close your eyes and take a deep breath by inhaling through the nose. When you do, hold it for a few seconds and exhale through the mouth.
Do this 4-5 times.
When you’re stressed in pregnancy, you take shorter and inadequate breaths. This means that your body doesn’t receive the amount of oxygen it should. Hence, the stress level rises. This can lead to dangerous results. Low oxygen means low blood circulation, which can affect the body.
Taking deep breaths in this case will promote the flow of oxygen and improve blood circulation.
Stretching: Stress not only affects pregnant women mentally but physically as well. It can cause the muscles to tighten up because stress releases some hormones that make the muscles stiff.
Stretching is the best remedy in this situation.
You can start by stretching your neck sideways and remain in that very position when you feel a stretch in the muscles. Hold it for a few seconds and revert back to the normal position.
Stretch your arms, legs, neck, and shoulders but make sure you are not putting a lot of pressure on your muscles.
This will loosen up your muscle and destress you.
A Sound Sleep
Pregnant women should sleep for at least 8 hours a day and take a quick 20 minute nap when they are feeling stressed.
A lack of sleep can cause people to have mood swings and also feel stressed. The human body differs, some people sleep a lot during pregnancy while some find it difficult to even sleep for a few hours.
If you find it difficult to sleep then try different relaxing techniques, such as an essential oil massage. This can help you feel better and put you at ease.
Pregnant or not, massages work like a charm when it comes to de stressing your body. You can get a massage using essential oils to push away stress from your mind and body. Make sure that the masseuse uses light kneading movements so that there isn’t a lot of pressure on your body.
Massages are said to not only calm the body but the mind as well. See what kind of massage works the best for you and stick to it.
There’s menthol in peppermint tea which can serve as a sedative. Other than reducing stress, peppermint tea can also treat nausea and gas issues in the stomach.
You can carry peppermint tea bags in your purse and drink it at your workplace too if you feel stressed because they are caffeine free.
Post-natal depression is common among pregnant women and can also lead to stress. One excellent way of preventing this is to perform yoga.
One yoga session is said to decrease 14% of the stress hormone levels. So, participating in a yoga session or doing it alone at home can come in handy and help reduce stress.
Again, be careful about the asanas you try as some may not be suitable for pregnant women.
These seven things can help pregnant women feel energized. It’s all about being happy and content.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.