Stress and anxiety during pregnancy

While it's good to be prepared for baby, and nesting is an important part of getting ready for the life-changing event that is having a baby. But stress and anxiety can really damage your health and sense of wellbeing and being too busy can be incredibly detrimental during this precious time. However not all stress and anxiety is bad, if is dealt with in a healthy way it can be a useful tool to help us cope.

What can happen if stress gets out of hand?
• Tiredness
• Anxiety
• Changes in appetite
• Headaches
• Pain
• Lowered immunity
• Increases in blood pressure
• Heart problems

What are the stresses I will have to deal with when I am pregnant?
• Nausea, bowel and urinating issues, pain, tiredness
• Just remember that these are only temporary and that they do pass
• Hormonal changes, that contribute to mood changes
• Concern for your baby
• Your ability as a parent
• Money issues

Can stress cause any problems with my baby?
• Low birth weight
• Premature labour
• You are at a greater chance of developing pre-eclampsia

Will I act differently if I am stressed out?
• You may not have a sound nutritional diet
• You may smoke or turn to alcohol or drugs

Is every one the same?
• We all find different ways for dealing with stress
• Something that one person finds hard to deal with another will find pleasurable
• Our bodies also have different ways of dealing with stress

What can I do about stress?
• Identify what is stressful for you in your life
• Get regular exercise and eat healthy food
• Get plenty of sleep
• Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
• Make up a support network with those that are important and good to you
• Try meditation and yoga
• Find time to relax each day
• Have a space at home for you with all your favourite things.
• Take lessons on breathing, deep breathing is good
• Try homeopathy and aromatherapy
• Take stretching classes, to relax your muscles
• Get a massage or go to the hair dresser and have your head massaged
• Shut your eyes and imagine that you are in a restful place
• Be positive
• Find other pregnant women to share your anxieties with; they are probably having the same concerns.
If you feel you are not coping do not be afraid to seek help, many mothers find that pregnancy can be overwhelming. There are many services to help, seek them out, it's worth it.





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